Las Vegas man pleads guilty to wire fraud conspiracy

A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty Friday to a single count of wire fraud conspiracy for his role in a $5 million scheme to defraud small-business owners seeking grant funding.

Gregory Villegas, 37, admitted to conspiring to defraud at least 390 victims from 2008 to 2012. He and his co-conspirators — two of whom previously pleaded guilty — raked in millions by pretending to operate companies that could obtain grant funding for small businesses. Villegas and his associates charged the small-business owners an advance fee for their phony services, but they never pursued grant funding as promised.

Villegas’ sentencing is scheduled for June 30 in federal court in Las Vegas. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

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