California con man gets 18-year prison sentence

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Updated: 12/06/2013 8:06 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California man has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for being the mastermind of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded victims out of more than $11 million.

The Los Angeles Times reports 52-year-old Kaveh Vahedi was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson, who called the scam one of the most heartbreaking and vicious he had ever seen.

Vahedi pleaded guilty last year to fraud charges. Prosecutors say his victims gave him money to invest, but Vahedi instead spent lavishly on luxury vehicles and properties.

Some of the victims showed up at the hearing including 63-year-old Fred Shokoufi who said he was nearly destitute. He held up an empty ramen noodle packet and said most nights that's what he eats with his 8-year-old son.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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