Former Aequitas Capital CEO Sentenced to 14 Years in Massive Investment Fraud Case

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Former Aequitas Capital CEO, Robert Jesenik, along with two other executives, Andrew MacRitchie and Brian Rice, were sentenced on Thursday for their involvement in a massive investment fraud that led to the collapse of the company. U.S. District Judge Michael Simon announced the sentences after a day-long hearing. Jesenik received a 14-year prison sentence, MacRitchie was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months, and Rice received just over 3 years.

In addition to the prison sentences, Judge Simon ordered the defendants to forfeit money earned from the Aequitas fraud. Jesenik must forfeit over $1.5 million, MacRitchie nearly $700,000, and Rice just over $116,000. The defendants were not immediately taken into custody and will be allowed to self-report to federal prison at a later date.

The sentencing comes after a seven-year investigation into Aequitas Capital, which ran out of money in 2016 and was taken over by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The case turned criminal in August 2020 when the Department of Justice indicted Jesenik, MacRitchie, Rice, and three other Aequitas executives.

Prosecutors had sought harsher sentences, recommending 20 years for Jesenik, 17.5 years for MacRitchie, and 10 years for Rice. The investment fraud resulted in an estimated loss of $364 million for investors. Defense attorneys argued that the loss figure was inflated, as investors had recovered all but about $20 million through lawsuits against third parties.

The defendants have the option to appeal the verdict. A restitution hearing will be overseen by Judge Simon to determine if the defendants will have to repay any of the defrauded investors.


Ryan Scott
Author: Ryan Scott

Just a guy

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