General Crime

Monterey Ceo, Barbra Alexander, Sentenced To 9 Years In Prison For Her Role In Ponzi Scheme

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The president of a Monterey investment company was sentenced to prison on Wednesday in United States District Court in San Jose for her role in a Ponzi scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Barbra Alexander, 66, of Monterey was sentenced to nine years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $6 million in restitution to investors in her company, APS Funding, Inc., according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

In February, a jury found Alexander guilty of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and security fraud.

Prosecutors said Alexander recruited investors into her company, APS Funding, Inc., and then promised to invest their money in short-term, high-interest loans for development and real estate purposes.

Instead of investing the money as promised, prosecutors said that between 2006 and 2009, Alexander used more than $7 million of investors’ money to fund her pet projects, such as her syndicated radio show, and to remodel her home.

In May, two of Alexander’s partners were also convicted of mail, wire and securities fraud and sentenced to prison, the U.S. Attorney said.

Michael Swanson, 62, of Seaside was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $2 million restitution to investors.

Beth Pina, 47, of Fairfield, Idaho, was sentenced to three years probation, and ordered to pay $625,000 restitution.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Securities Exchange Commission, and the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.

Alexander will begin serving her sentence in August.

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