Three Ponzi schemers who robbed and pillaged the savings and lives of dozens of Sacramento-area families were sent away Friday for long stretches in prison. . . .
“This case is one of the most egregious in terms of taking advantage of people who will never, ever get back (financially) to where they were. They don’t have enough years left,” U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley said.
In sentencing Christopher Jackson to 30 years behind bars, Nunley told him, “You’ll go to prison, but that won’t do (the victims) any good.”
Co-defendants Michael Bolden and Victor Alvarado were sentenced to 20 years and 10 years, respectively.
Jackson, 46, of Elk Grove, was already in custody. The judge ordered deputy U.S. marshals to take Bolden, 60, and Alvarado, 53, both residents of Sacramento, into custody immediately after he imposed their sentences.
During a nearly nine-hour hearing Friday, Nunley made formal findings that the net loss to investors, ranging in number between 50 and 250, is in excess of $20 million.
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The 10-year gap between Jackson’s and Bolden’s sentences makes “it look like (Jackson) is being punished for going to trial,” Beevers told the judge. It is a well-worn argument on behalf of those who, in a multi-defendant prosecution, choose to take their chances with a jury and are convicted.
“You gambled and lost,” Nunley shot back. “Bolden was smart. He took advantage of a favorable offer (from prosecutors).”
Blackmon made an impassioned argument that Alvarado got involved due to “ignorance and inexperience,” and failed at first to recognize the true nature of the DMC operation.
“He won’t reoffend.” Blackmon insisted. The defense lawyer noted that his client has no prior criminal record.
To which Nunley observed, “He hit a home run the first time.”