Double trouble: Colts Neck man sentenced for investment fraud and bank robbery
Robbing a bank while on pre-trial release for a $20 million dollar investor fraud scheme earns Louis Spina consecutive prison terms totalling 79 months.
A fedeal judge in Trenton exercised the option to place the terms back-to-back instead of concurrently, according to information from the office of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.The judge also ordered him to serve three years of supervised release, relinquish $818,000 in seized assets, and pay $12.7 million restitution to victims.
The 58-year-old had pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud for the scam that dated back to 2010, for which he was charged in November 2013. He subsequently admitted the Coral Gables, Florida, bank heist on August 2014, and was sentenced to 41 months for the robbery, authorities said.
According to information filed in the case, Spina ran the Ponzi scheme through his Fair Haven office and Miami, depositing money from 42 investors into the bank account for LJS Trading LLC and guaranteeing monthly returns of about 14 percent.
Spina transferred $9.5 million into a trading account and used the remainder to repay some investor interest and principal amounts, in addition to cars, apartments, and a $400,000 donation to a university, authorities said.
He admitted conning investors into thinking that their money was accruing rapidly, despite losing the entire $9.5 million, and diverting suspicions with misleading screen shots of account balances that displayed temporary gains without daily losses.
Spina then squeezed another $1.7 million from them with a tale of an impending buyout of his company, promising returns on investments as high as 30 percent.