Georgia Man Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Defrauding Investors of More Than $800,000
NEWARK, NJ—A Georgia business owner who held himself out to be an investor and loan broker was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for his role in defrauding investors of more than $800,000, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Ronnie Singleton, 41, of Lithonia, Ga., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to Count One of an indictment charging him with conspiring to commit wire fraud. Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. According to documents in this case and statements made in court:
Singleton owned and operated a business called Wonder World Inc. and held himself out to be a financier. Using the Internet and telephone, he met his codefendant, Michael Woodruff, 66, of Peeples Valley, Ariz., and the two agreed to work together to find investors. Singleton falsely represented that he would providing financing for real estate deals through a “European system of financing” that involved leasing financial instruments. Singleton received more than $800,000 in investors’ funds, $360,000 of which he wired to Woodruff. Instead of obtaining the promised financing for the real estate projects, Singleton instead used the investors’ money for his own personal benefit.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Singleton to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $830,500 in restitution. Woodruff previously pleaded guilty in Arizona federal court to his role in the scheme and is awaiting sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; and inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates, for the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny Kramer of the Economic Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlton Rugg of the Criminal Division.
The charges and allegations against Woodruff are merely accusations and he remains innocent unless and until proven guilty.