ST. LOUIS (CN) – A former stockbroker was sentenced to 8 years and 1 month in federal prison for stealing the bulk of his mother’s inheritance, and for stealing from widows, religious organizations and the elderly to make Ponzi payments and pay for strippers.
Prosecutors say Joshua Gould, 32, used the money, more than $5 million, to pay other investors in a mini-Ponzi scheme, to start several businesses and gave some to charities to improve his reputation. The rest was spent on personal expenses such as credit card bills, home renovations and hundred of thousands went to strippers.
Gould pleaded guilty in April to mail fraud and wire fraud. The 97 months is the minimum amount of prison time according to federal sentencing guidelines. He faced up to 121 months.
Gould has paid back between $40,000 and $50,000, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith said in court. Aside from prison, Gould must pay $3.1 million to his victims and he and co-defendant David Rubin, 48, must repay $1.2 million to one man they cheated together. Rubin also pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in April and will be sentenced in September.