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Jenison man sentenced for running million dollar Ponzi scheme

Posted at 9:30 PM, Jan 30, 2017

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — A man who pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme was sentenced in court Monday.

According to the Michigan Attorney General’s office, Scott Rookus, 45, was sentenced to spend seven to 20 years in prison for racketeering and 57 months to 10 years for fraudulent sales of securities. He must also pay $4,393,420 in restitution to the victims of his Ponzi scheme.

Rookus, of Jenison, pleaded guilty to the charges in December. He was alleged then to have solicited investments of nearly $1.5 million for his holdings company, New Haven Holdings between 2010 and 2015.

Many of Rookus’ victims were senior citizens, who were told their earnings on their investments would come from the profits of his enterprises. However, the money he took resulted in the Ponzi scheme, from which he pocketed the profits.

Rookus issued fraudulent returns to cover his tracks to some investors, says the AG’s office. He used the investor funds to pay for his children’s private school tuition and tax liens against him.

Investigators caught wind of Rookus’ dealings in March 2015, when he filed for bankruptcy.

Rookus was initially charged with more than 30 crimes, but those were absorbed into the racketeering charge when he pleaded guilty.