Man Sentenced To 16 Years For Faking Broker’s License, Defrauding Investors
Holland Sentinel, The (MI)
GRAND RAPIDS — A Grand Rapids man, serving prison time for home invasions in Ottawa County he committed while nude, has been sentenced to another 16 years behind bars for securities fraud.
Joshua Rupp, 37, pleaded guilty to defrauding investors and was sentenced last week in federal court, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan announced.
Rupp, according to federal authorities, faked his stockbroker's license and lied about his credentials as a securities trader, convincing at least 19 investors to entrust more than $2.7 million to him.
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Rupp lost much of the money, approximately $1.4 million, on the stock market and also misappropriated $500,000 in invested funds that Rupp spent for his own personal use.
"Joshua Rupp preyed on people close to him as well as other members of his community, convincing some of his victims to turn over hundreds of thousands of dollars to his care by lying to them about his credentials and the nature and status of their investments," said U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge in a press release announcing the sentencing. "The Court's sentence will protect the public and serves as a cogent warning to those contemplating similar schemes."
More: Ottawa County man faces prison for faking stock broker's license, losing investors' money
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The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office assisted with the investigation, which was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The securities fraud investigation began when Rupp was arrested for breaking into two homes while naked in August 2019 and causing a crash while driving away from one of the homes. Rupp had ingested a lot of medication and told investigators he was under financial strain.
Police said publicity around his arrest in the home invasions prompted people who had invested money with Rupp to report their concerns to law enforcement.
Birge recommended researching a broker's qualifications before investing money.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has lodged a civil complaint against Rupp alleging violations of antifraud securities laws. The SEC case has been on hold while the criminal case against Rupp made its way through the courts.
— Contact reporter Carolyn Muyskens at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @cjmuyskens.