FEDS: Florida Scammer Who Swindled Investment Clients And Tried To Arrange Murders Of Witness And Business Partners Sentenced To 30 Years In Federal Prison
Paul S. Kruse of Jacksonville plotted at least three murders after the scam was exposed, including the murder of a personal assistant who’d observed his dirty dealings, contacted the FBI and became a government witness.
If Kruse survives the prison sentence, his release will occur when he is approximately 90 years old.
After his brother’s 2012 suicide in the wake of the Yorkshire collapse, Kruse hired hit men to kill the personal assistant “to both prevent her from testifying and avenge his brother’s death,” the Justice Department said today.
“Kruse also hired the hit men to rob and kill two former business partners, who Kruse contended had cheated him,” the Justice Department said.
The hit men, however, were “undercover federal agents,” the Justice Department said.
Kruse laid out the plot while being detained prior to trial, the Justice Department said.
From a statement by the Justice Department (italics added):
According to court documents, beginning in 2010, Kruse and his brother conspired to recruit and defraud a number of clients to whom they provided financial advisory services. As part of the scheme, Kruse established a sham investment firm called Yorkshire Financial Services. He and his brother convinced their clients, a number of whom were retirees, to move their savings to Yorkshire. Kruse and his brother deceptively told clients that Yorkshire had been in business for more than 30 years, had a staff of experienced securities traders, and traded in a combination of stocks, bonds and currencies appropriate for individual retirement accounts (IRAs). In reality, Kruse did not invest the investors’ funds. Rather, he spent the investors’ money on luxury cars, home improvements and personal items and made hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash withdrawals. As a result of the scheme, Kruse stole $931,844 from 21 victims.
Senior U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger late yesterday ordered Kruse jailed for three decades. Kruse further was ordered to pay restitution of $897,960 and serve five years’ supervised probation upon his prison release.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.