A Rockland man pled guilty Friday to three counts of wire fraud in connection with a Ponzi scheme that took in $6 million over an 11-year period.
Alan Ritter, a self-employed accountant from Monsey, entered his guilty plea in a Manhattan federal court, said Preet Bharara U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York City.
Ritter—69-years-old—suffered a $500,000 loss in 2001 from an unrelated business venture, according to the the D.A.'s office. To recoup his losses, Ritter solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from friends and clients, lying and saying he intended to invest them in a real estate projects.
From there, Ritter accrued money for over a decade, using the funds to settle interest payments and cover his own expenses, the D.A. said.
"Alan Ritter used his trusted role as an accountant to hatch a fraudulent loan scheme that quickly grew into a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme," Bharara said. "He leaves many victims, whom he knew personally, impoverished in the wake of his fraud. With his plea [Friday], Ritter will now be held to account for his crimes."
Ritter faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the three wire fraud counts, a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss of the offense, and a maximum period of three years of supervised release.
Ritter is slated to be sentenced January 16, 2013.