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Tucson man pleads to securities fraud in Carlsbad case

SANTA FE – A Tucson man, who was indicted for selling fraudulent securities to an elderly Carlsbad couple, has pleaded guilty.

Manuel Cortez Saiz, 69, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of sale of a security by an unlicensed agent, both felonies. Saiz pleaded guilty in the 5th Judicial District in Eddy County.

The state’s Securities Division found that Saiz in 2011 solicited a $15,000 investment from the couple, and promised a 12 percent return. Saiz claimed he was setting up a company to collect felled hardwood from Nicaragua and sell it for a profit to U.S. consumers. The investigation showed Saiz mad “material misrepresentations” to the couple and was not registered with the Securities Division, as required under New Mexico law.

Saiz agreed to pay full restitution, plus interest. He received a sentence of three years’ supervised probation.

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