Honolulu investment group sentenced for Ponzi scheme
3 members bilked $1.6 million from victims
Members of a Honolulu investment group were sentenced Thursday to nearly 10 years combined in prison after they were convicted of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
Syed Qadri, 39, Ruben Carrillo Gonzalez, 50, Jeffrey Greenhut, 40, were sentenced to 51 months, 41 months and 24 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in connection with a scheme to defraud investors through two Honolulu-based companies -- Amasse Capital LLC and Solomon & Co. LLC.
The incidents happened between January and September in 2006.
Each defendant was ordered to pay restitution to victims of the scheme.
The wife of Qadri, 48-year-old Patricia Roszkowski, received a one-month prison sentence from U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi for filing a fraudulent application with a local bank for a line of credit on behalf of Solomon.
According to U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Florence Nakakuni, Amasse and Solomon purportedly invested in high yield bonds with minimal risk to the investor's principal, when, in reality, investments were used to pay back earlier investors with the remainder of the funds being converted to Qadri's own use in what amounted to a Ponzi scheme.
Other information reflected that Qadri had a leadership role in the scheme; Gonzalez and Greenhut managed investor funds.
According to court documents, Amasse was marketed as an investment firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Prospectus for Amasse made materially false claims about the business activity, capability and financial stability of Amasse.
During the scheme, Qadri and Gonzalez claimed that the companies could return up to 100 to 400 percent per month on investments.
Between Amasse and Solomon, the net loss to victims as a result of this scheme was in excess of $1.6 million.
Qadri and Roszkowski lived in a luxurious Kahala residence, purchased several expensive exotic cars and leased an entire floor in a Downtown Honolulu office building, accoridng to court documents.
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