Friday, October 9, 2009
Convicted of three counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, netted a Ponzi scheme operator with what the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California is calling the "longest sentence ever handed down in a white-collar case in this district." And most likely it is the longest sentence in a good number of districts. The U.S. Attorney's Press Release states that the scheme collected "$60 million from hundreds of investors – and caused more than $39 million in losses." In addition to a sentence of 100 years, the court ordered "$35,479,310 in restitution to the approximately 600 victims who lost money as a result of the scam." The DOJ Press Release also states that "[i]nvestors were promised returns of up to 14 percent every two or three months, at which time investors could either receive their investments back or roll over their investments into the next investment period." Unlike the defendant, who represented himself at trial, three sales agents plead guilty and " received sentences of up to six years in federal prison."
(esp)(blogging from Los Angeles)