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For his part, Mr. Vales, who has spent years pursuing the case against Preciado, told Judge Algeo that Preciado had ruined the couple’s retirement years. Mr. Vales, who is Hispanic, said Preciado “betrayed the Hispanic community.”

In comments to the judge, Preciado admitted mistakes, though at the same time, she said the Valeses knew what they were getting into when they loaned $350,000 without collateral.

Mr. Vales and prosecutors balked at the idea, saying the couple never would have invested without collateral. They said Preciado misled the couple.

“I’m sorry the Valeses lost their money,” Preciado said.

While Preciado faces a 15-year prison sentence, Mr. Hill said he would hold open the possibility of filing a motion for her release on probation if she or her family findsa way to return the money.