Jan 16

Alberto Alba Villarreal was sentenced to five years in prison Jan. 16 after being convicted of theft of property for stealing money that was supposed to be used to help fund a new insurance company.

The sentence, handed down in Cameron County State District Court, ordered Villarreal to pay full restitution to an investor who bought a $1 million "membership interest" – an investment contract – in Nafta Holdings LLC, the controlling company for the planned new insurer.

Villarreal was also sentenced to 10 years probation for securities fraud.

According to the indictment and court testimony, Villarreal misrepresented the financial condition of Nafta Holdings and the amount of money he had raised to start the new company.