A New York financial adviser is facing a fraud charge after authorities say he ran a scheme over the past decade to bilk investors out of millions of dollars, AdvisorNews reports.
Martin Ruiz of the investment advisory firm Carter Bain Wealth Management appeared last week in Manhattan federal court, where the allegations against him were unsealed. He is charged with one count of investment adviser fraud.
Prosecutors say Ruiz induced clients, many of them elderly, to invest over $10 million in his so-called RAM fund. He had told them the money would be invested in legitimate real estate and investment projects, but instead Ruiz allegedly diverted and misappropriated the funds. According to the allegations, Ruiz used most of the money from the clients to pay for his own personal expenses, including a home purchase, rent payments, and credit card bills.
“As alleged, Martin Ruiz promised his elderly investment advisory clients safe investments but in fact stole his clients’ retirement savings and lined his own pockets,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.
Ruiz, 45, was arrested and now faces a maximum prison sentence of five years.
In addition to the federal criminal charges, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought a related civil action against Ruiz. The SEC obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against Ruiz and his company.
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