Former CEO of investment firm pleads guilty in $250 million securities scheme

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The former chairman of 1 Global Capital in Hallandale Beach pleaded guilty in orchestrating a scheme that defrauded more than 3,400 investors in 42 states of $250 million. Four others, including two men from Palm Beach County have already pleaded guilty to securities fraud.

Carl R. Ruderman, 82, of Miami-Dade County, agreed to a sentence of 5 years, the statutory maximum and to a forfeiture money judgment of over $250 million, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release Friday.

Ruderman was indicted July 25 in the South District of Florida in Fort Lauderdale.

Alan G. Heide, 65, of Lake Worth Beach, the former 1 Global chief financial officer, was sentenced to 60 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Roy K. Altman on Jan. 23, 2020, and also ordered to pay over $57 million in restitution to the victims of the scheme.

Steven Allen Schwart, 78, of Delray Beach, was sentenced to 24 months in prison on July 9, 2021, and ordered to pay over $36 million in restitution.

Andrew Dale Ledbetter, 81, of Fort Lauderdale, was sentenced to 60 months in prison on Aug. 27, 2021, and ordered to pay over $148 million in restitution.

Jan Douglas Atlas, 78, of Fort Lauderdale, was sentenced to eight months in prison on Aug. 19, 2021, and ordered to pay over $29 million in restitution.

1 Global was a commercial lending business that made the equivalent of “pay day” loans to small businesses at high interest rates, termed merchant cash advance loans (“MCAs”).

The company filed for bankruptcy on July 27, 2018.

Ruderman was the chairman of 1 Global and Heide was the chief financial officer. Schwartz was a director and consultant at 1 Global. Ledbetter was an attorney licensed in the State of Florida. Atlas acted as outside counsel for 1 Global.

Ruderman admitted that he and others made false and misleading representations to investors and potential investors on the profitability of 1 Global’s business in marketing materials and periodic account statements.

Ruderman admitted that he spent 1 Global’s investor’s money on credit card payments, vacation travel, insurance payments for his art collection and valuable jewelry, drivers, nannies, housekeepers, mortgage payments for his house, tuition, and payments for a luxury car. Ruderman also admitted that he diverted 1 Global investor money to businesses benefitting him and his family, without the investors’ knowledge.

Investors, investment advisers and regulators rose substantial questions during the operation of the business as to whether 1 Global was offering or selling a security and whether the investment offering was required to be registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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