Florida Man Sentenced To 63 Months In Prison For Stealing More Than $3 Million From Investors
United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the sentencing of GARY RICHARD VIBBARD, 58, formerly of Ocala, Florida, to 63 months in federal prison for stealing more than $3,000,000 from dozens of investors and investment fund managers. Rather than paying investors based on corporate profits as promised, the defendant operated a Ponzi-like scheme, repaying earlier investors with investment funds provided by later investors. VIBBARD pleaded guilty on May 15, 2014, in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, to mail fraud.
“Mr. Vibbard tricked investors into believing they were making an informed and sound investment,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “By lying about his past and disguising his operation as legitimate, he was able to defraud his clients of millions of dollars. Investment fraud is a priority for this Office and financial predators will be brought to justice.”
According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, VIBBARD, the owner and manager of R. Capital Advisors (RCA), operated a Ponzi-like scheme to defraud investors and investment fund managers. VIBBARD admitted that from approximately August 20, 2008 until 2010, he marketed and sold investments by lying about RCA’s financial performance and capabilities and by omitting facts about his history as a financial manager. VIBBARD told potential investors that he was a proven and talented financial manager, when in fact he had filed for bankruptcy in 2000, owed more than $1.5 million in back taxes, and lost more than $1,000,000 in investor funds through a prior failed company.
In addition to using investor funds to repay prior investors, VIBBARD used the funds entrusted to him for personal expenses including child support, gym membership, upscale clothing, and an internet dating service. VIBBARD directed his bookkeeper to drain corporate bank accounts and hide the funds in cashier’s checks, to thereby prevent creditors and the Internal Revenue Service from seizing accounts.
As part of his plea agreement, VIBBARD agreed to pay $6.9 million in restitution, which includes restitution for losses from before the period covered by the guilty plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Lewis prosecuted this case.
This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Lake County, Florida Sheriff’s Department.
GARY RICHARD VIBBARD
• Mail Fraud, 1 count
• 63 Months in federal prison
• 3 years supervised release