Five years after the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued an emergency action to stop the Amerifirst securities fraud, all of the defendants accused of defrauding more than 500 investors-many of them senior citizens-of over $50 million in Texas and Florida have now been sentenced for their crimes. The last defendant, Jason Porter Priest, was sentenced to one year in federal prison last week.
The 43-year-old Ocala man had pleaded guilty in 2010 to involvement in the Secured Capital Trust Scam in 2010. He has to pay $4.7 million in restitution. Also recently sentenced was Dennis Woods Bowden, who was previously chief operating officer of COO of Amerifirst Acceptance Corp. and Amerifirst Funding Corp. He used to manage American Eagle Acceptance Corp., a company located in Dallas that sold and bought used cars, bought and serviced used car notes, and financed the purchase of used vehicles. His sentence is 192 months in prison and $23 million in restitution after a jury convicted him on several counts of securities fraud and mail fraud.
The other defendants:
Jeffrey Charles Bruteyn: Amerifirst’s former managing director was convicted by a jury on nine counts of securities fraud in 2010. He is serving a 25-year prison term. According to the evidence, Burteyn and Bowden were the ones behind the secured debt obligation offerings that were at the center of the Amerifirst securities fraud.
Vincent John Bazemore: The former Texas broker is serving 60-months behind bars after pleading guilty to the securities case against him. The broker, who previously sold the secured debt obligations, has to pay nearly $16 million in restitution.
Gerald Kingston: He was sentenced to two years probation and fined $50,000 last year after he pleaded guilty in 2007 to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He helped Bruteyn manipulate Interfinancial Holdings Corporation’s (IFCH) stock price, bought and sold hundreds of thousands of theses shares, and affected matching trades to make it falsely appear that there was a lot of interest in the stock. He made over $1.6 million in fraudulent sale proceeds.
Eric Hall: His securities fraud guilty plea in 2008 stemmed from his involvement in defrauding investors in Secured Capital Trust. He was sentenced this April to two years in probation and told to pay restitution of about $4.7M.
Fred Howard: Last month, he was sentenced to five years in prison and also ordered to pay approximately $4.7 million in restitution for his involvement in the Securities Capital Trust scam.
Elder financial fraud is a serious problem, and it is depriving many seniors of the ability to retire in peace. Unfortunately, retirees who have worked a lifetime to save their money are among securities fraudsters’ favorite targets.
It was in 2009 that Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force was created to aggressively investigate and prosecute financial fraud crimes. Over 20 federal agencies, state and local partners, and 94 US attorneys’ offices are working together as a coalition. In the last three fiscal years, the Justice Department has submitted over 10,000 financial fraud cases against close to 15,000 defendants.
Last of Seven Defendants Sentenced in AmeriFirst Securities Fraud Case, FBI, July 27, 2012
More Blog Posts:
AmeriFirst Funding Corp. Owner Convicted of Texas Securities Fraud, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 3, 2012
Ex-Stanford Group Compliance Officer, Now MGL Consulting CEO, Says SEC’s Delay Over Whether to Charge Him in Ponzi Scam is Denying Him Right to Due Process, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, July 24, 2012
Reform the Municipal Bond Market, Says the SEC, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, July 31, 2012
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