Robert Stinson Jr. cooked up bizarre lies to convince investors to give him $16 million, all of which has been lost in his alleged Ponzi scheme.
Stinson told clients he graduated from MIT and Penn State, that he would make them returns of 10 to 16 per cent from his real estate hedge funds, and weirdly, that he rang the NYSE opening bell on one occasion.
On Stinson’s LinkedIn profile, he links to a recording of a man that looks like him, ringing the opening bell on February 19th 2010.
He may or may not have been at the stock exchange to ring the bell, but the video caption says those pictured are New Orleans Saints Superbowl players, probably none of whom are him.
Stinson was arrested for the alleged ponzi on Friday, Bloomberg reports.
The 55-year old Philly native is accused of cheating 260 investors out of $16 million through his four year scheme, in which he told his clients that the funds made short-term commercial mortgage loans.According to the SEC complaint, Stinson used millions in investors cash to “fund lavish spending involving restaurants, yachts, automobiles, baseball games and travel.”
Apart from personal use, he is also accused of handing out money to family members and friends and “using new investors’ funds to make ‘distributions’ to existing investors,” who thought he was a graduate of MIT.
Stinson falsely claimed to have degrees from MIT and Pennsylvania State University and a long history of employment in currency trading and investment management. In reality, he was convicted of fraud multiple times and was previously barred from committing securities fraud, prosecutors said.
Stinson’s criminal history includes three convictions on federal charges of fraud and/or larceny, and two convictions on state charges of conspiracy and/or fraud.
Stinson has been charged with 26 crimes including,
- Wire fraud
- Mail fraud
- Money laundering
- Bank fraud
- Obstruction of justice
- Filing false tax returns
- Making false statements.