A former Wall Street trader pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud after authorities accused him of running a Ponzi scheme that cheated investors out of $19 million. Instead of investing their money, he spent it on luxury items and vacation rentals for himself and his family. Each count carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
Authorities said Paul Rinfret, 70, ran the scheme from at least 2016 to 2019. He allegedly used an investment fund called Plandome Partners L.P. to defraud six investors and potential investors.
Rinfret sold them limited partnership interests while falsely stating he would use their investment funds for trading futures contracts linked to the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. He charged a 25 percent fee on the trades’ net profits. As part of his scheme, prosecutors alleged the former Wall Street trader told investors that Plandome Partners traded through certain brokerage accounts that were either nonexistent or not open at a time when he claimed to be trading in them.
Rinfret told investors that their money was being invested, but he allegedly spent most of it on luxury purchases for himself and his family members, including a $50,000 Hamptons home and jewelry worth more than $40,000. The small amount of money that he did use for trading failed to make a profit. Rinfret allegedly lied to investors about the results of their investments by sending them fake monthly brokerage account statements to keep them satisfied.
Securities fraud charges require an aggressive defense and an in-depth understanding of Wall Street practices. If you have been accused of this crime, do not speak to law enforcement officials or regulatory agencies without legal representation. Anything you say can be used against you. Contact Brill Legal Group to learn how we can defend you from securities fraud allegations.