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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Judge says defendant's fraud-related remorse doesn't mitigate

"Well, there was a liquor store, just as he contended."

That was our opening sentence in a May 16 blog post that chronicled the material developments relating to a high-profile scam seeking money from investors to support the operations of a business that, while existing, was seriously misrepresented by its Ponzi scheme creator.

As turns out to be the case with many hyped investment pitches, select targets willingly forked over their money. And then, while the scheme seemed to operate in legitimate fashion for a time, it ultimately unraveled and was revealed for what it was. As noted in a recent New York Times article, that was the swindling of investors "out of more than $12 million under the guise of operating a fictitious wholesale liquor business."

Reportedly, the mastermind of the scheme -- a prominent restaurant magnate -- raked in money easily, given his local prestige and community standing. In one instance, a single investor gave him more than $5 million.

The bait was what it always is with Ponzi schemes and related investment scams, namely, the promise of outsized returns.

And the result reflected a common departure from the assurances of massive profits, with the Times noting that money taken in went "to repay debts to other investors and for personal expenses."

At his sentencing hearing recently, the defendant was reportedly sorry and legitimately remorseful for his crimes.

The judge acknowledged that, but imposed an "upper-end" sentence on him, anyway, stating that a strong deterrence-related message needed to be sent by the criminal justice system.

"The moral compass that you had was not pointing due north," she said pursuant to her sentencing announcement.

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