A Las Vegas man was sentenced to serve ten years in prison after pleading guilty to operating a $1.3 million Ponzi scheme. Hans Seibt, 72, received the maximum sentence from District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney after pleading guilty to a single felony theft charge. In addition to the prison sentence, Seibt was also ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution to victims.
Seibt purported to be a successful real estate developer, operating several businesses including HSLV Development Corporation, Clark and Nye County Development Corporation and SWN Land Corporation. Beginning in 2007, Seibt solicited money from investors based on purported deals that were secured by parcels of land in Nye County, Nevada. In return, investors were promised annual returns ranging from 10% to 12%. In total, Seibt raised more than $1.3 million.
However, Seibt and several of his companies filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2008 in the middle of the real estate downturn, citing collective debts exceeding $70 million. The Securities Division of the Nevada Secretary of State began investigating Seibt, and he was arrested in July 2011. The bankruptcy trustee appointed to Seibt's case has been unable to recover any funds to distribute to victims.
Because Seibt was prosecuted by state authorities, he will be eligible for parole in approximately 4 years.