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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mandeville Financial Adviser Convicted of Stealing Up to $1.5 Million from Investors

United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today the conviction of a Mandeville investment adviser who stole up to $1.5 million from investors in a widespread investment fraud scheme.

On March 26, 2018, RALPH WILLARD SAVOIE, age 70, of Mandeville, Louisiana, pled guilty to mail fraud before U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick.  As a result of his guilty plea, SAVOIE faces a significant term of imprisonment, fines, restitution orders, forfeiture, and a term of supervised release following imprisonment.  A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

As SAVOIE acknowledged in court during his guilty plea, from in or about January 2013 through at least March 2016, he executed a scheme to defraud victim investors by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, promises, and representations.  SAVOIE told his victim investors that he would invest their funds in securities and insurance, and described the investment opportunities as a “sure thing.”  SAVOIE also guaranteed the victim investors high rates of return.  However, instead of investing the funds as promised, SAVOIE spent the victim investor funds on jewelry, hotels, and restaurants, and withdrew the funds in cash.  SAVOIE also used victim investor funds to pay his credit card bills and rent and to pay off other victim investors who had previously invested their money with him.

Towards the end of SAVOIE’S fraudulent scheme, a victim investor confronted SAVOIE about his investment.  SAVOIE admitted to the victim investor that what he did with the victim investor’s money was illegal.  Despite admitting his criminal conduct, SAVOIE later told the victim investor that he would never see his money returned if he reported the matter to law enforcement.  SAVOIE also concealed from victim investors that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, an organization dedicated to market integrity and investor protection, had barred him from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.  During his guilty plea, SAVOIE admitted that he stole up to $1.5 million from investors.

U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “My office, along with our federal, state, and local partners, is committed to aggressively pursuing corrupt professionals who abuse their positions of trust to fraudulently line their own pockets.  I greatly appreciate the efforts of those prosecutors and agents with my office, IRS-CI, the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions, and the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation who have worked together on this important matter.”

This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions and the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation, a section of the Louisiana Department of Justice.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Rezaei.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated March 27, 2018