LIC woman sentenced for Ponzi scheme

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A Long Island City woman was sentenced to three to nine years in prison for her involvement in a Ponzi scheme that raked in approximately $1.3 million.

Ibis Febles, 66, admitted to swindling 30 people out of their savings between September of 2003 and October of 2008, conning her victims by assuring them the money would be invested into a profitable real estate corporation. Investors were told their contributions would be used to purchase and sell properties for above-market returns.

According to the district attorney, Febles targeted members of the Latino community.

“Many of the victims of this scheme lost their entire life savings,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “I would therefore let this case serve as a warning to all investors to use extreme caution.”

The DA stated that investigators are hunting for a second defendant, Giancarlo Giuseppe, 69, who is still at large.

Febles claimed to oversee a company known as Buyersnet Real Estate Corporation, naming herself as the vice president and Giuseppe as the owner. Their fake company is said to have offices in Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Long Island City.

According to the DA, the defendants promised investors that they would gain a 10, 12 or 14 percent return. Upon each investment, victims received certificates allegedly representing the amount of their investment, referring to it as “GIOS” or Guaranteed Interest Options. These receipts reflected a guaranteed interest rate significantly higher than rates paid by reputable financial institutions.

In May, Febles pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal possession of stolen property, one count of first-degree grand larceny, six counts of second-degree grand larceny, 22 counts of third-degree grand larceny and two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny. Febles also signed 30 confessions of judgment, totaling approximately $1.3 million.

Calls to Febles’ attorney, Steven Brill, went unanswered as of press time.