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- The unregistered advisor was convicted of two counts of securities fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of structuring.
- He faces a maximum of 65 years in prison when sentenced on September 9.
- The SEC also filed a lawsuit against him for the same Ponzi scheme.
The operator of a New York “investment club” called Amongst Friends was found guilty Thursday by Manhattan federal court of securities fraud, wire fraud and structuring charges for carrying out fraud schemes. Ponzi and embezzlement of millions of dollars, according to Audrey Strauss, the American lawyer for the Southern Quarter of New York.
After a trial before Judge Sidney Stein, unregistered investment adviser Ruless Pierre, 51, of Nanuet, New York, was convicted of two counts of securities fraud, each carrying a maximum sentence 20 years in prison; one count of electronic fraud punishable by up to 20 years in prison; and one count of structuring carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, Strauss said. Sentencing is scheduled for September 9 at 2:30 p.m.
Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of New York, filed an indictment against Pierre on November 4, 2019. The Securities and Exchange Commission separately filed fraud charges against Pierre and his company, R. Pierre Consulting Group (RPCG), for the same schemes, saying in a complaint filed on November 6, 2019, also in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, that the defendant’s investment scam targeted members of the local Haitian community.
During the investment fraud scheme, Pierre fraudulently obtained more than $ 2 million from nearly 100 investors, the SEC and Berman alleged. After receiving money from investors, Pierre allegedly deposited the money into one of his personal bank accounts or into RPCG bank accounts. He then allegedly transferred the money to trading accounts, where he engaged in unprofitable daily trading.
Despite his business losses, Pierre repeatedly and wrongly claimed to investors, including in investment statements containing fictitious balances, that his trades were profitable and their investments were growing as promised, the plaintiffs alleged.
In addition to losing their money, Pierre is also said to have used investor funds to cover personal expenses including luxury vehicles.