70-Year Old Accountant Gets 3-Year Sentence For $6 Million Ponzi Scheme

A 70-year old former accountant who devised a $6 million Ponzi scheme to cover losses from a separate business venture was sentenced to a three-year prison term.  Alan Ritter, 70, of Monsey, New York, learned of his sentence from United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty, who also sentenced Ritter to serve three years of probation after his release from prison.  Ritter previously pled guilty in September 2012 to three counts of wire fraud, and could have faced a maximum of sixty years in prison.

According to authorities, the scheme began in 2001, when Ritter lost more than $500,000 in a separate and unrelated business venture.  Ritter decided that he would make up the losses by soliciting friends and clients for what he described as investments in real estate ventures.  This continued for over eleven years, and Ritter eventually took in more than $6 million from investors.  However, rather than use the money as he promised, Ritter instead misappropriated investor funds for a variety of purposes, including making Ponzi-style payments and paying his own personal expenses.  

Ritter was also ordered to pay restitution to his victims, although his attorney has previously indicated that Ritter is broke.