A yearlong investigation revealed that Floro Lorenzo Cruz had allegedly posed as a middleman with investment contacts who approached people looking for low-interest loans, according to South San Francisco police.
Cruz told his victims that he needed a 10 percent down payment to secure the loans, police said.
He is believed to have taken between $800,000 and $900,000 from victims in the community, which he transferred to various personal accounts and ultimately spent on himself, police said.
Cruz was arrested on suspicion of fraud, embezzlement and theft. He is being held at San Mateo County Jail on $250,000 bail.
Anyone who believes they might have been victimized by Cruz is urged to contact South San Francisco police Detective Bob Collins at (650) 877-5991.