A Williamsville, N.Y., financial advisor has been sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to make restitution to the 94 victims from whom he swindled $6 million in a Ponzi scheme.
Guy W. Gane Jr., 57, was sentenced in federal District Court in Buffalo Sept. 14 after pleading guilty earlier in the year to mail fraud and money laundering.
He convinced clients to invest money with his company, Watermark M-One Financial Services, that was supposed to be put into 'debentures' to buy waterfront property, said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. Gane promised 10% return on the investments.
But the money was never invested. New money was used to pay off previous investors. He also used the money to pay himself $10,000 a month in salary to landscape and maintain his home and for travel expenses, among other things.
Watermark was closed in 2008 and others affiliated with the firm have pleaded guilty or been convicted of fraud charges.
In court, Gane apologized to his victims, but District Court Judge William Skretny was unmoved and called the sentence fair. The judge warned investors about "turning over your hard earned money to any investor [without knowing] exactly who you are dealing with," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.