Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BILLION-DOLLAR PONZI SCHEMER SEEKS HOUSE ARREST


Joel Steinger, whose Mutual Benefits Corp. was once the darling of the life settlement industry, while all the time being no more than a massive Ponzi scheme, will be sentenced at the end of August, and his attorney has filed a Pre-Sentence Memorandum on his behalf. He has requested home confinement (house arrest), due to his client's "extraordinary physical impairment," which has resulted in 27 months spent in custody, basically chained to a hospital bed. It is doubtful whether his handicap will be considered, given the victim losses.

The defendant has a degenerative spinal condition, which his counsel argues has resulted in associative partial paralysis. The argument for home confinement asserts that it would be less costly to the Government than imprisonment. Although his Guidelines sentence is not yet known, due to the extraordinary amount of victim losses, and his prior offenses, it could be as high as 360 months to life imprisonment.

The argument for sympathy, due to his medical condition, is overshadowed by the enormity of his crimes, which deprived many of his victims without their life savings. Will he receive a sentence similar to that meted out to Bernard Madoff, whom he has been compared to ? We cannot say, but sentencing details will be posted here as soon as they become available.

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