A St. Louis financial representative who bilked members of his own Orthodox Jewish community out of millions of dollars has been sentenced to 97 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $4,323,092 in restitution.
Joshua Gould of University City, Mo., had pled guilty to one felony count of wire fraud and one count of felony mail fraud. Gould's partner, David Rubin, who pled guilty to wire fraud, will be sentenced in September.
A former financial advisor with Woodbury Financial Services Inc. and an affiliate of Spetner Associates in eastern Missouri, Gould and Rubin admitted taking a large portion of the money, $1.5 million, from one retired individual. They used connections in the Orthodox Jewish community to convince people to invest.
Instead of being used to invest in a St. Louis mortgage company as purported, the money was used for other purposes, such as propping up other businesses of Gould's, and for personal expenses including taking clients to adult entertainment establishments. The total swindled was about $5 million. Some restitution already has been made. The investors were told their money would be held in a separate secure account to be used as collateral for Coral Mortgage Bankers Corporation offices, which were operated by Rubin, and that they would receive regular interest payments.
When Rubin's mortgage company had financial problems, Gould solicited money from St. Louis individuals to be used for security to obtain capital for Coral Mortgage, according to court papers.
Gould instead used some of the money for start up costs for several shell business ventures he started. Among other things, he used the clients' funds to pay off other clients' trade requests after he had liquidated their securities without their knowledge, according to the U.S. attorney.