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Friday, July 27, 2012

Steven Bingaman pleads guilty for Ponzi scam

Steven Bingaman

A Ponzi fraudster who kept fancy houses in Bedford, New York and Martha's Vineyard is trading down to a prison cell for swiping some $2 million from 14 investor pals.

Steven Bingaman, 55, pleaded guilty today to 23 counts of grand larceny, money laundering, forgery and securities fraud before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon, who promised him a two-to-six-year prison stint when he's sentenced next Spring.

Bingaman must pay back $1.5 million he still owes his victims, who include a postal worker, a dentist, a doctor and his own business partners.

He falsely told them their money would be put in escrow or safely invested, but spent the money instead on his homes, a Las Vegas bookie and other expenses, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance had said in announcing Bingaman's indictment in May, 2011.

If he fails to pay restitution by his sentencing date, his prison term will be five-to-25 years prison, the judge warned.

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