George Christo George, 55, Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced for six to 20 years in prison for defrauding several Northern Nevadans of more than $238,000 through elaborate schemes including a false business partner posing as a wealthy sheikh to lure victims into bogus real estate deals and to investments in a luxury downtown Reno high rise condominium.
George was ordered by Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer to pay $238,000 in restitution to his victims and sentenced to six to 20 years in prison. Twenty years is the maximum penalty. George, an undocumented immigrant, also faces deportation following the completion of his prison term. His criminal history includes prior felonies for fraud and theft-related crimes.
George pleaded guilty to a felony mortgage fraud charge related to scamming seven Northern Nevadans between July 2011 and May 2012. George was arrested in August 2013 at a Las Vegas casino on an attorney general’s warrant, and later transported to the Washoe County Jail. He has remained in jail in lieu of $380,000 bail, along with the hold placed upon him by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
At the time of the scams, George claimed to be the owner of his own California-based company, G&G Consulting and Investment. Nevada Attorney General Investigators concluded that George used different scams in order to defraud individual victims. Victims paid George upfront fees for services or investments that he never performed or did not exist. As a Las Vegas resident, George defrauded individuals across Nevada and California, targeting casino workers where he frequently gambled by proclaiming to have ties to the banking and financial industries. The victims in this case include a single mother seeking to move out of her modest apartment and into a home with her children, a recently widowed business owner who believed George was modifying his mortgage so he could afford his deceased spouse’s medical bills and another business owner who had to close her company after George defrauded her in a scam involving his sham business partner, a sheikh in Dubai. George’s frauds also depleted the savings of his victims.
Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced the sentence.
The case is being prosecuted in Reno by Senior Deputy Attorney General Ronda Clifton of the Attorney General’s Fraud Unit and Senior Deputy Attorney General John McGlamery of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“Scammers often target vulnerable individuals who are struggling financially to get a home,” said Laxalt. “My office is committed to investigating and prosecuting scams such as this one to protect consumer’s interests.”