Financial Fraudster Richard Reynolds sentenced in Bozeman
HELENA, Mont. – Convicted felon Richard Reynolds will serve 20 years in prison and was ordered to pay almost $5 million in restitution and fees for bilking more than 140 victims out of nearly $5.4 million through a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors in Montana, the U.S. and four foreign countries.
Gallatin County District Judge Holly Brown sentenced Reynolds to a total of 60 years in prison with 40 years suspended. He will get credit for the nearly two years he has already spent in jail or on house arrest.
Brown called Reynolds’ criminal actions “outrageous, aggravated and intolerable.” Should Reynolds be released from prison, he will be unable to open a checking account, have credit cards, be in casinos or start a business without permission, among other restrictions Brown announced.
A Bozeman jury in December found Reynolds, 53, of Bozeman, guilty on six felony charges. Investigators and attorneys in the office of Montana Securities Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen had been working on the case for several years and prosecuted Reynolds with the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office.
“Mr. Reynolds turned his trust into a deception, costing his victims their life savings. These victims will never be made whole financially. I hope this sentence can be a symbol to them that justice works,”Lindeen said Wednesday. “Victims of financial fraud are not alone in Montana. My team of investigators and attorneys are on their side.”
Reynolds was charged with and found guilty of two counts of fraudulent practices, one count of theft, one count of operating a Ponzi scheme, one count of failing to register as a securities salesperson and a final count of failing to register a security.
Between 2008 and 2011, Reynolds, who also uses the name “Richard Adkins,” used relationships he formed with pastors, ministers and other religious individuals to bring investors into his Ponzi scheme. After soliciting funds from investors, he pocketed more than $4.3 million.