Man gets 15 years in fraud scheme

The Baltimore Sun

A man who admitted running an $8 million Ponzi scheme involving more than 900 investors was sentenced in federal court in Baltimore yesterday to more than 15 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett also ordered David McDowell Robinson, 57, of Baltimore to pay almost $3.1 million restitution for the fraud, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein described Robinson's sentence yesterday as "one of the longest imposed in Maryland in a white-collar crime case."

Investors who lost money in the scheme - which involved a company known as Liberty Trade International Inc. that operated from September 2004 to March 2006 - included victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Robinson - who was convicted twice previously for similar offenses, including embezzling $500,000 from investors who included a group of ministers - pleaded guilty to 27 counts of mail and wire fraud in January.

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