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June 30, 2009

Another stiff sentence for a Ponzi schemer

Perhaps this local sentencing story reflects the echo effect of Bernie Madoff getting maxed out at his federal sentencing:

It may not be as wide-ranging as the theft orchestrated by Wall Street investor Bernard Madoff, but the $6 million stolen by Glyn Richards still destroyed dozens of lives.  So for his crimes, Richards will spend 30 years in federal prison.

Richards, 45, pled guilty last year to setting up a fake freight company: All Freight Logistics, Inc. in Audubon, N.J. From that office, he ran a Ponzi scheme that bilked more than 100 investors out of $5.8 million. In exchange for a hefty buy in — ranging from $25,000 to more than $100,000 — prosecutors say Richards promised his investors quick and big returns.  He told them he was about to land a government defense contract....

Nearly a year after he pleaded guilty, dozens of victims packed the courtroom to hear Richards' sentence.  Several made impassioned pleas for the judge to issue the maximum sentence.

In a move that surprised even prosecutors, Renée Marie Bumb went beyond the federal guidelines in handing Richards 30 years. She said it was "one of the most despicable crimes imaginable."

"It doesn't take a life — like a violent crime does, but it does destroy life," Bumb said.  "I think you are a con man.  You have been and you always will be.  I think you'll be pulling a scam when you walk out the gates of prison."

June 30, 2009 at 09:35 PM | Permalink

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Posted by: buy a degree | Jul 1, 2009 7:17:58 AM

"I think you'll be pulling a scam when you walk out the gates of prison."

Even if the judge thinks that, is it really appropriate to say that?

Posted by: Pendulum | Jul 1, 2009 10:50:36 AM

Stories like Richards' and Madoff's bring to mind W.C. Fields' classic line, You can't cheat an honest man."

I'm sure Richards' "victims" were all astonished, truly stunned, to discover the man who'd "promised...quick and big returns" had "bilked" them out of their money.

Prison sentences of 30 or 150 or a 1,000 years have about as much chance of deterring future scams as con men have of running out of fools eager to get rich quick.

Or as Fields's "Larsen E. Whipsnade" might have put it, chumps never seem to smarten up.

Posted by: John K | Jul 1, 2009 11:58:24 AM

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