Donald Babb and Ralph Ruth, both of central Florida, were sentenced to ten years in federal prison and were ordered to pay $18.7 million in restitution by a federal judge in Orlando. The pair is alleged to have defrauded investors out of nearly $19 million, and both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud last year.
Investigators claim that the two Floridians misrepresented their businesses as financial institutions that were federally insured and advertised risk-free certificates of deposit for investment opportunities. Neither of the two bought certificates of deposit for their investors but rather used the cash to pay back earlier investors or to purchase luxury items and real estate for themselves.
According to authorities, Babb and Ruth targeted primarily elderly investors, and an investigation found that 181 investors, most of whom were from Brevard County, trusted the men to make conservative investments. The victims trusted that the investments were being made to sustain their retirements and financial futures and in some cases involved the victim’s life savings.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.