Ex-Remington Financial Co-Owner Is Sentenced to 16 Years

Former Remington Financial Group co-owner Matthew McManus, the last of six defendants accused of defrauding 1,900 investors of more than $26 million in an advanced-fee scheme, was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge William Yohn Jr. in Philadelphia today also ordered McManus to pay $17.7 million in restitution to the victims. His partner, Andrew Bogdanoff, was sentenced by the same judge in March to 18 years in prison for his role in the scheme, which falsely advertised loans to people looking to start small businesses and real estate ventures.

“This is one of the few cases where the sentence imposed is a deterrent to others,” Yohn said.

McManus, Bogdanoff and four others were indicted in April 2012 for conspiring to persuade investors to pay fees of as much as $25,000 to Remington by issuing fake letters of interest stating the company had a lender or vendor seeking to finance a project.

Bogdanoff and four others pleaded guilty. McManus was convicted by a jury in February for his role in the scheme. Prosecutors sought a prison term of 18 years. Lawyers for McManus argued today that a 10-year sentence was an “appropriate degree of punishment” for a man described as devoted to his wife and two school-age daughters.

‘Painstakingly Sorry’

“I’m truly and painstakingly sorry for my conduct,” McManus told the judge before being sentenced. “My life has completely changed and I’m completely changed.”

Bogdanoff founded Remington in Philadelphia in 1993, later renaming the company Remington Capital. He hired McManus and groomed him to run Remington’s Philadelphia office when the company moved its main operations to Arizona in 1997. McManus ran the East Coast division until 2008, prosecutors said.

While most of the fraud originated out of Remington’s Arizona office, McManus and the Philadelphia office helped perpetuate the scheme, prosecutors said.

McManus “got exactly what he deserved,” said Ingrid Robinson, a San Francisco mother who is credited with helping prosecutors build the case against Bogdanoff by connecting the victims.

Robinson, whose role was profiled in a Bloomberg story in May, is pushing for legislation to help victims of this kind of fraud by making third-party commercial brokers financially responsible for the misdeeds of companies to whom they refer clients. Robinson was referred to Remington by a company in Tustin, California.

As part of his restitution, McManus agreed to forfeit two properties, a home in Nantucket and a Philadelphia condominium, representing about $1.2 million in real estate equity.

The case is U.S. v. Bogdanoff, 12-cr-00190, U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

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