Thirteen days into the year and I feel like all I’ve written about is Ponzi-scheme after Ponzi-scheme after Ponzi-scheme.
Today I bring to you the sentencing of Jenifer Devine, the woman who owned a purported wholesale merchandise broker and admitted to running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that resulted in over $2 million in losses to investors. Devine has been sentenced to 37 months in prison after pleading guilty to an Information charging her with wire fraud.
According to court documents, from December of 2008 through September of 2010, Devine, through Devine Wholesale, solicited investors from New Jersey and throughout the United States, telling them she would use their money to fund her wholesale clothing and electronics business. Devine admitted that to induce the investors to make 30 to 60 day investments she promised returns of up to 25 percent per investment. Devine also showed some investors false and fraudulent inventory lists of products she was purportedly reselling. As a result of these solicitations, more than 15 investors sent over $8 million to Devine and her company during this time period.
Devine admitted that, contrary to her representations to investors, Devine Wholesale was not a legitimate business. Devine said that instead of using the investor money to purchase clothing or electronics, she used the vast majority of new investor funds to make principal and interest payments to existing investors in Ponzi scheme fashion. Devine also used a portion of the investors’ money on various personal expenses, such as a Royal Caribbean cruise and purchases at luxury retailers such as Burberry, Gucci and Coach.
Devine admitted that as a result of her conduct, investors lost more than $2 million.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Cecchi sentenced Devine to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $2 million – Source.
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