Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hedge Fund Manager Who Bilked Relatives Out of $25 Million Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Federal Prison

After admitting that he ran a Ponzi scheme that targeted family members and close friends and caused them to lose more than $25 million, the founder and manager of two Beverly Hills hedge funds was sentenced today to 121 months in federal prison.

Bradley L. Ruderman, 46, of Beverly Hills, was sentenced this afternoon after pleading guilty in August to two counts of wire fraud and two counts of investment adviser fraud related to a Ponzi scheme he ran from 2003 through 2009.
United States District Judge John F. Walter sentenced Ruderman for collecting more than $44 million from investors in his two hedge funds—Ruderman Capital Partners and Ruderman Capital Partners A—based on promised annual returns as high as 60 percent. Ruderman admitted that he used much of the money to pay his own expenses and that he hid the misappropriation of investor money from his victims by sending them phony account statements that purported to show gains in their accounts. When the funds collapsed last April, Ruderman's investors had lost more than $25 million.

Unlicensed Orange County Mortgage Broker Sentenced to Nearly Six Years in Prison in $40 Million Fraud Scheme

SANTA ANA, CA—A San Clemente man who acted as a mortgage broker under several umbrellas, including the Orange-based Lucrativo Real Estate Solutions, Inc., was sentenced this morning to 70 months in federal prison for his conviction on tax evasion, mail fraud and credit card fraud charges related to a mortgage fraud scheme that caused at least $7 million in losses.
Jared Tornow, 34, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter, who called Tornow’s scheme one of the most sophisticated and arrogant frauds he had ever seen.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Man Sentenced to Over 13 Years in $21 Million Ponzi Scheme That Cost Dozens of Victims Their Life Savings

LOS ANGELES—After hearing from 15 victims who described the ramifications of losing their life savings, a federal judge yesterday sentenced an Orange County man to 159 months in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme in which victims lost more than $21 million.
John Anthony Miller, 52, of San Clemente, was sentenced Monday afternoon by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder. Miller pleaded guilty last March to a mail fraud count related to the Ponzi scheme, as well as bribery, passport fraud, and identity fraud charges resulting from his attempt to procure a fraudulent passport and flee the country after his scheme collapsed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Male in bank robbery wanted by FBI

Attached picture is a bank surveillance photograph of a bank robber who struck the National City Bank, 2100 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, yesterday, 1/13/10. Around 11:30 AM, this individual walked into the bank, handed the teller a note and orally announced a robbery, threatening the teller with harm if his demands for cash were not met. He implied he had a weapon, but none was observed . After getting an undisclosed amount of cash, he fled the bank on foot, direction not known. No injuries were reported as a result of this robbery. This individual may also be responsible for another bank robbery on 1/13/10, of the Charter One Bank, 7312 West Grand, Elmwood Park, IL; the attempted bank robbery of the U.S. Bank, 26 West North Avenue, North Lake, IL on 1/13/10; and the robbery of the TCF Bank, 800 West North Avenue, Melrose Park, IL on 12/10/09.

For more information regarding these robberies, and to view more photographs, please visit the website.

Anyone having any information regarding any of these bank robberies is asked to call the Chicago Office of the FBI at 312/421-6700.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert

The FBI today reminds Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause.
Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:

Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages.

Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.

Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.

Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.

Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.

Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via

Thursday, January 7, 2010

CAYETANO E. WILLIAMS arrested for robbery of the Chase Bank

Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was joined today by David Webb, Chief of the Hanover Park, Illinois Police Department (HPPD) and James R. Kruger, Chief of the Roselle, Illinois Police Department (RPD) in announcing the arrest of a suburban man for the December 14, 2009 robbery of the Chase Bank branch, located at 1640 West Irving Park Road in the western suburb.

CAYETANO E. WILLIAMS, age 50, whose last known address was 25 West 019 Argyle in Roselle, was arrested late Sunday, without incident, by officers from the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department, who were assisting in the investigation of a convenience store robbery. CAYETANO was charged in a criminal complaint filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of Bank Robbery, which is a felony offense.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

John D. Terzakis, of Hinsdale, Ill. was arraigned today in federal court for 12 felony counts

SAN JOSE, Calif. – John D. Terzakis, of Hinsdale, Ill., and Robert E. Estupinian, of San Jose, Calif., were arraigned today in federal court for 12 felony counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, in an indictment that accused the pair of operating their company, Vesta Strategies, as a Ponzi-scheme, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced that .
A federal grand jury in San Jose, indicted Terzakis and Estupinian on Dec. 30, 2009. According to the indictment, Terzakis, 52, was the majority owner of Vesta Strategies (“Vesta”) and controlled its business activities. Estupinian, 47, was the former Chief Executive Officer and minority owner of Vesta until approximately December, 2007. Vesta, based in San Jose, was a qualified intermediary for the purpose of conducting tax-deferred real estate exchanges pursuant to Internal Revenue Service Code Section 1031 (26 U.S.C. § 1031). In general, a Section 1031 exchange allows taxpayers to avoid paying tax on capital gains by depositing the proceeds from an investment real estate sale, that would otherwise qualify as a taxable capital gain, with a qualified intermediary for up to 180 days. Under Section 1031, if the taxpayer purchases another investment property within those 180 days, the proceeds from the first sale may be rolled over into the new investment without being taxed as capital gains.The indictment alleges that Terzakis and Estupinian solicited and caused others to solicit prospective clients to deposit funds with Vesta based upon, among other false representations and promises, the promise that Vesta would hold those deposits and return them as promised. Instead, the defendants stole client funds for their own use, and also that they used new client deposits to pay redemptions owed to earlier clients.
Shortly before the collapse of the scheme in July 2008, Terzakis and Estupinian sued each other in federal court in San Jose, blaming one another for misappropriating Vesta client deposits. The case number for those matters is C 07-06216 JW. In August, 2009, a federal civil class action was filed in San Jose federal court against Terzakis, Estupinian and others by the Vesta clients alleging misappropriation of client funds. That matter, case number C 09-02388 JW, is also pending.

Terzakis was arrested in Hinsdale on Jan. 6, 2010, and made his initial appearance in federal court in Chicago on that same date. He is currently in home confinement with electronic monitoring. Terzakis’ next scheduled appearances are on Jan. 13, 2010 in Chicago for further bail proceedings, and on Jan. 28, 2010, in San Jose federal court for further case proceedings before Magistrate Judge Patricia V. Trumbull.

Estupinian was arrested in San Jose on January 6, 2010, and made his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose on that same date. He is currently in home confinement with electronic monitoring, secured by a $1 million bond. His next scheduled appearance is at 10 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2010, in San Jose federal court for further bail proceedings before Magistrate Judge Trumbull.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1349, respectively, is 20 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss to any victim, and restitution. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of money laundering, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1957 and 1956(h), respectively, is 10 years imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transaction. The government is also seeking forfeiture from the defendants in the amount of $24,633,341.34. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Daniel Kaleba is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Susan Kreider. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Terzakis and Estupinian must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.