On July 13, a New York man pleaded guilty to securities fraud after he was accused of being involved in a $6 million Ponzi scheme. The man, who is the son-in-law of a former New York state assembly speaker, allegedly began the scheme in 2007.
The man reportedly admitted to telling his clients that he was investing their money into a fund that would double the returns with very minimal risk. He then reportedly provided those clients with fake tax forms and account statements. In reality, it appeared that he had only invested a small amount of the money and had actually suffered trading losses.
As part of the man's plea agreement, it was agreed that he would repay more than $5.9 million in restitution. He was scheduled to be sentenced in the beginning of November. His wife, who was the co-owner of the investment fund involvement, was not charged.
When a person is accused of being involved in a Ponzi scheme or similar white collar crime, the consequences can be extremely severe if a conviction is obtained. The defendant could be facing a lengthy prison sentence in addition to potentially being required to pay restitution. However, a criminal defense attorney may have the ability to create a strategy depending on the case's unique circumstances. The attorney may demonstrate through the evidence that the defendant did not intend to actually defraud any investors. In other cases, it may be advisable to negotiate an agreement with the prosecutor that would involve the plea of guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for less harsh penalties.
Source: FOX News, "Ex-New York Assembly speaker's son-in-law pleads guilty to fraud; bilked investors of $6M", July 13, 2015
Source: The New York Times, "Sheldon Silver's Son-in-Law Pleads Guilty in Ponzi Scheme Case", Ashley Southall, July 13, 2015