Vernon Hills man sentenced to 5 years for operating Ponzi scheme: Feds

SHARE Vernon Hills man sentenced to 5 years for operating Ponzi scheme: Feds

Chicago Federal Building | Google Maps

A Vernon Hills man was sentenced Monday to 5 years in federal prison for swindling more than $1.4 million from at least 15 clients.

Between 2012 and 2016, 50-year-old Richard K. Booy used the companies he founded, Principal Financial Strategies LLC and Safe Financial Strategies Inc., to convince at least 15 clients to give him more than $1.4 million, said a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Booy promised clients no-risk investments and guaranteed returns, prosecutors said. Rather than investing the funds, Booy used the money to cover personal expenses, such as health insurance, fitness club memberships, purchases as Best Buy and DirecTV and to make Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors.

Most of Booy’s victims were elderly, and some handed over their entire life saving to him, prosecutors said. His victims include a Chicago pastor, a retired painter, a government worker and an individual who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.

“Defendant committed much of this egregious conduct while sitting in his victims’ homes and in their places of worship,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew S. Ebert argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “While face-to-face repeatedly with his victims, Booy brazenly made his pitch knowing that his actual purpose was to obtain and then devour his victims’ savings, pensions, and income.”

Booy claimed to be affiliated with the more widely recognized Principal Financial Group, but he had no actual relationship with the firm, according to prosecutors. Principal Financial Group obtained a temporary restraining order against him, which led to a court-authorized seizure of his computer and other evidence from his home.

The Latest
Caruso has two games in Los Angeles coming up, and he’s prepared to hear the comparisons between himself and new Laker cult hero Austin Reaves — comparisons that Caruso finds unfair and inaccurate.
The middle child in a family of 10 children, Johnson grew up in a three-bedroom Elgin home with parents who were pastors and also foster parents. After his mother died, Johnson helped to carry the ministry forward. “This is really a faith walk,” he says of his run for mayor.
White Sox notebook: Vaughn, Bummer, Crochet, WBC participants help Sox rout A’s, Opening Day frills
Stroman said his slider felt the best it has all spring.
Assad is in the conversation to make the Opening Day roster, likely as a reliever.