Keith Franklin Simmons, 47, of North Carolina, was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison for an elaborate Ponzi scheme that devastated hundreds of investors, mostly elderly and vulnerable, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
A disgusted U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad Jr. and agents involved in his case described Simmons as a callous swindling predator, who wreaked devastation leading victims to anxiety, despondency, and in one case according to the Winston Salem Journal, denouncing god and considering suicide.
Simmons and his co-conspirators began soliciting victims to invest in Black Diamond Capital Solutions in April 2007. Over 400 victims invested more than $40 million from 2007 to 2009, when the bogus claims of wild profits started to unravel and Simmons was arrested by the FBI. Rather than trading in the foreign currency exchange market, as promised, Simmons was funding his own extravagant life style with the investments.
Judge Conrad also sentenced Simmons to pay $35,331,632 in restitution, which will come from selling off that stolen lifestyle one property at a time. The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced it will additonally “request liquidation of forfeited assets and return of net proceeds of liquidation to victims.”
Hopefully these reparations will happen quickly, as almost 100 of those who lost everything are over 75 years old and have no time to lose.
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