Former Investment Adviser Sentenced To 72 Months In Prison For Investor Fraud Scheme | USAO-SDNY

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that MARTIN RUIZ, a former investment adviser, was sentenced today to 72 months in prison by US District Judge Vernon S. Broderick. RUIZ pled guilty on November 12, 2021, for his role in a scheme to defraud his investment advisery clients out of their retirement savings.

According to the allegations in the Complaint, the Information to which RUIZ pled guilty, and statements made during court proceedings:

From at least in or about March 2011 through in or about the present, RUIZ induced multiple individual investment advisery clients of Carter Bain Wealth Management (“CBWM”), many of whom are elderly, to retain RUIZ and CBWM to advise them on how they should invest their retirement savings. While ostensibly acting in its fiduciary capacity as their investment adviser, RUIZ instead induced more than a dozen such clients to invest more than $ 10 million in an investment fund called RAM Fund through the purchase of limited partnership interests. RUIZ did not disclose to those clients that RUIZ controlled RAM Fund and that he planned to misappropriate their funds.

In fact, rather than invest the funds in legitimate investment projects and real estate, as he falsely represented to clients, RUIZ misappropriated more than $ 8 million of client funds from the RAM Fund, transferred those funds through a series of entities RUIZ also controlled, and spent the vast majority of the funds on personal expenses, including the purchase of a home, rent payments on several apartments, and the payment of his personal credit card bills. In so doing, he violated his fiduciary duty to act in his clients’ best interest and avoid self-dealing. RUIZ also made multiple false statements to the US Securities and Exchange Commission about its companies and investments in order to hide its fraudulent scheme.

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In addition to his prison sentence, RUIZ, 46, of New York, New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico, was ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $ 10,925,770.09.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of Homeland Security Investigations. Mr. Williams further thanked the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its assistance and cooperation in this investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant US Attorney Kiersten A. Fletcher is in charge of the prosecution.

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