Richard Elkinson, of Framingham, was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for the operation of a 20-year-long, $29 million Ponzi scheme. He also was ordered to repay $17 million in restitution to the more than 200 victims who suffered losses related to the scheme.
According to authorities, Elkinson lied to investors by falsely representing himself as a broker affiliated with a Japanese clothing manufacturer that sold uniforms to state government entities. Elkinson claimed that funds invested with him would be used to manufacture those uniforms and would render returns between 9 and 15 percent, payable after the uniforms were sold.
The entire story was a lie. Elkinson was never affiliated with a Japanese clothing manufacturer, and none of the investors’ funds were ever used to manufacture uniforms. Instead, Elkinson used the money to make Ponzi payments to earlier investors and for his personal living expenses.
The scheme began to unravel in 2008, when investors began asking for more information about their investments. Elkinson fled the area in December 2009. He was arrested in Mississippi in early 2010, and returned to Boston. This April, he pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston to 18 counts of mail fraud in connection to the investment scheme.