Robert Stinson, Jr, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to 33 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay more than USD14 million in restitution for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 263 investors of more than USD17 million.
On 15 August, 2011, Stinson pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud, nine counts of money laundering, one count of bank fraud, three counts of filing false tax returns, two counts of obstruction of justice, and two counts of making false statements to federal agents.
On 29 June, 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injunctive action against Stinson and related persons and entities based on the same conduct, and sought and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order and Order Freezing Assets and the appointment of a receiver.
According to the Commission’s complaint, from 2004 through June 2010, Stinson, primarily through Life’s Good, Inc and Keystone State Capital Corporation, two companies he controlled, sold purported “units” in four Life’s Good private real estate hedge funds. Stinson falsely claimed that the Life’s Good funds generated annual returns of 10 to 16 per cent by originating more than USD30 million in commercial mortgage loans, and other investment income gained on the sale of foreclosure and investment properties.
The Commission’s complaint alleges that Stinson stole investor funds for his personal use, transferred money to family members and others, and used new investor proceeds to pay existing investors as part of a Ponzi scheme. On June 20, 2011, the United States District Court entered partial summary judgment against Stinson and his co-defendants, finding violations of the federal securities laws and ordering permanent injunctive relief. The court deferred the determination of the amount of disgorgement and prejudgment interest, as well as the imposition of any civil penalties.