Man sentenced to 14 years in $2.7M scheme

Nov 18, 2014 10:53 AM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A Sacramento man who was convicted of orchestrating a $2.7 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded family members, friends and other acquaintances has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento says Monday 42-year-old James Berghuis was convicted in October by a federal jury in Sacramento of four counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud and one count of laundering money in the Sacramento-based scheme.

The office says evidence presented at trial showed that between 2005 and 2007 Berghuis persuaded investors to take out home equity loans to make their investments.

He promised them he would invest their money in hard-money loans, real estate transactions or the purchase of real estate franchises. He instead used the money to pay back other investors and to buy expensive cars and other luxury goods.

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