A 71-year-old Mandeville financial adviser who stole more than $1.1 million from elderly investors has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin announced Wednesday.
Ralph Willard Savoie, who previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud, also was ordered Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to pay $1.1 million-plus in restitution and forfeit another $1.1 million, Fremin said.
Savoie, who also had an office in Baton Rouge, defrauded clients by using their money for personal expenses, to pay off other investors and to invest in a risky real estate venture, according to federal court records.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana-based investment adviser has been charged with defrauding clients by using their money for personal expenses, to pay off other investors and to invest in a risky real estate venture.
Ralph Willard Savoie, a resident of Baton Rouge and Mandeville, was charged last Friday with two counts of wire fraud and one count of identity theft, federal court records show.
He used some of the money on jewelry, hotels, restaurants, credit card bills, a car note and rent, court records indicate.
Savoie, who had described the investment opportunities as a "sure thing," told one victim who confronted him that the investor would never see his money returned if he reported the matter to law enforcement, Fremin stated.
"This conviction and sentence sends a loud and clear message — those who abuse their fiduciary responsibilities and take advantage of the elderly in this district will face the full might of the federal government," the chief federal prosecutor for the Baton Rouge-based Middle District of Louisiana added.
Savoie's scheme ran from January 2013 until at least March 2016, Fremin said.