BULLETIN: California Man Sentenced To 90 Years In Prison For Fleecing Elderly Investors In Ponzi Scheme

BULLETIN: Convicted Ponzi swindler Jeffrey Gordon Butler has been sentenced to 90 years and eight months in a California state prison.

Butler, 51, of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., was convicted in June 2009 of 693 felony counts, including making untrue statements of material fact in the offer and sale of securities, the offer and sale of unqualified securities, theft from elderly persons, using a scheme to defraud in the sale of a security and filing false tax returns.

Butler’s wife, Peggy Warmath Butler, 49, was convicted of four felony counts of filing false tax returns. She was sentenced today to one year in jail, followed by seven years’ formal probation.

Orange County prosecutors objected to her sentence, saying it was too light.

So many Ponzi victims testified in the sentencing phase of the trial that the process took four days to complete and was interrupted by the holidays. Because so many victims were nearing the end of their life spans, prosecutors recorded their statements on videotape prior to the trial and played them at the sentencing.

At least six victims died during the course of the trial, and 52 victims died prior to the case being brought before the jury.

“Many of Jeffrey Butler’s victims had trouble believing that he was capable of stealing their life’s savings,” said Tony Rackauckas, Orange County District Attorney. “He stole more than money from the people who trusted him. Jeffrey Butler also stole his victims’ dignity, independence, and dreams

“By sentencing him to 90 years in prison it means that Jeffrey Butler will spend the rest of his life in prison unable to victimize another person,” Rackauckas said.

See Dec. 16 story.

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