Mission Hills : Woman Sentenced in Pyramid Scheme

A Mission Hills woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail or 75 days on a work crew and ordered to pay $3,000 to her victims after she pleaded no contest to involvement in an illegal pyramid scheme, authorities said.

Filiberta Ledesma, 36, also known as Filiberta Gutierrez, was given the choice Wednesday of jail or working on either a Caltrans or graffiti-removal crew, Deputy City Atty. Don Kass said.

Early last year, Ledesma persuaded three Pacoima residents to join an endless chain scheme called “Friends of Friends” with promises they would reap large profits if they could persuade others to invest, Kass said. The victims alleged they could not get their money back, Kass said, adding that Ledesma has already paid $1,000 to her victims.

Three others were also charged and are awaiting arraignment, Kass said.