What You Need to Know
- A man posing as a broker from two different firms scammed at least 19 investors out of more than $2.7 million, prosecutors say.
- He misappropriated more than $500,000 of the investors’ funds and lost most of the remaining funds trading securities.
- A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 23, 2022.
A bogus broker who scammed at least 19 investors out of more than $2.7 million now faces up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud, according to Andrew Birge, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan.
Joshua Louis Rupp, 37, previously of West Olive, Michigan, misappropriated more than $500,000 of the investors’ funds on personal expenses that included electronics, groceries and vacations, and lost most of the remaining funds trading securities, Birge had alleged.
Rupp pleaded guilty before Sally J. Berens, U.S. magistrate judge. As part of the plea agreement, Rupp agreed to pay full restitution of about $2.7 million to the victims of his crime, according to the plea agreement he signed Oct. 11, a court filing shows.
Rupp faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced next year by Hala Y. Jarbou, U.S. district judge, Birge said Friday. In addition, he could face up to five years of supervised release; a $250,000 fine or the greater of twice the gross gain or gross loss; and a mandatory $100 special assessment.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 23 at the court, in Lansing, Michigan, according to a court filing on Monday.
Lucas X. Dillon, a Lansing attorney who represented Rupp in the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
According to the plea agreement and felony information, from 2015 to 2019, Rupp recruited investors by posing as a licensed broker or trader who worked at one of two different brokerage firms. The companies were not identified.