Two men accused of duping investors out of more than $4 million by getting them to invest in a medical product and using most of the money for their own benefit pleaded not guilty Friday to 61 charges, including grand theft, tax violations and elder abuse.
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Matthew Mazur, 50, and Carlos Manjarrez, 57, were each ordered held on $2 million bail.
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis alleged that the defendants made misrepresentations, omissions and false statements regarding U.S. Medical Instruments Inc., claiming the company was successfully selling “SafeSnap” syringes in the United States and overseas.
“SafeSnap” syringes are described as disposable syringes with needles that fold up into safety containers for easier, safer disposal.
The defendants showed potential investors a prototype of the syringe but never manufactured it in significant quantities as they claimed they would, according to the prosecution.
Additionally, the defendants used for their own benefit most of the money they collected from investors, according to the prosecution.
“Bilking investors, some of whom are senior citizens, out of millions of dollars of their hard-earned savings is reprehensible,” Dumanis said Thursday.
Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gianera told Judge David Szumowski today that 15 victims have been identified in the case so far. Documents seized after the defendants were arrested indicate they had — over the course of several years — taken in $64 million in connection with the alleged scam, Gianera told the judge.
Attorneys for Mazur and Manjarrez — arguing for bail to be set at $100,000 — told the judge their clients had known about the investigation for 16-18 months and still remained in San Diego. A bail review was set for March 27 and a readiness conference for April 1.
The defendants each face up to 40 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
— City News Service
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