A federal judge Friday sentenced a former Marion investment broker, who scammed several victims out of thousands, to the maximum prison time of more than nine years.
U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade said Randy Beltramea, 49, was an "unrepentant, flim-flam artist" who has duped people for over a decade by making false statements and using his "alleged Christianity" to get their money. She pointed out one victim in particular who was "elderly and infirm" who he swindled out of $127,439, even taking her Social Security money.
Reade increased his prison time based on obstruction of justice and his refusal to accept responsibility for his crime. According to testimony last month during the first part of his sentencing hearing, Beltramea gave false testimony to a grand jury in 2012 regarding his scheme of taking money from investors to buy Subway shops and instead, used the money for his own real estate investments. Reade said he then attempted to make "ridiculous" and "frivolous" arguments based on those false statements during the sentencing hearing.
Beltramea pleaded guilty to pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making false statements to financial institutions, two counts of money laundering, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of tax evasion.The other eight charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
According to a plea, Beltramea admitted to the Subway scheme to defraud investors in 2009 and 2010. In connection with soliciting money from one of the investors, he provided the investor with a promissory note on which he forged the signature of another person who was involved in buying a Subway shop.
Beltramea also admitted moving some of the fraud proceeds into a bank account under his mother’s name to hide the source of the money and in an effort to evade taxes, according to the plea agreement. The IRS had previously imposed a tax lien for more than $320,000 against Beltramea because he had not filed tax returns or paid taxes since 2001.
He also obtained loans and loan extensions from two banks by providing them with false financial statements and with tax returns he said had been filed with the IRS, according to the plea.
Reade also ordered Beltramea to pay $337,488 to four victims and U.S. Bank.
Beltramea declined to make a statement before sentencing.
His attorney, Terrence McAtee, said Beltrama was remorseful and apologizes to the victims. He took their statements "to heart." He said Beltramea has had a humbling experience being in custody for the last few weeks and understands he has to "change his way of thinking."
The victims in court Friday declined to make victim impact statements but did submit written statements to the court.
Assistant U.S. Attorney C.J. Williams asked for the maximum sentence because Beltramea hadn't complied with all the plea agreement terms including forfeiture of property, not filing corrected tax returns and not paying any of the restitution. Beltramea was given the opportunity to sell off his real estate property while on pre-trial release, so it could go to restitution before he went to prison but instead, he did nothing.
Williams said the other concern was how he harmed the victims. Beltramea betrayed these people "who believed in him" and used his Christianity to form these relationships.
"They feel embarrassed and they will never trust again," Williams said.
Reade stipulated in her order that Beltramea forfeit all property, pay restitution immediately, and if he didn't pay the entire amount, he will have to make payments in prison and after prison while on supervised release. She also ordered him to pay his tax liability from 2001 to 2013 and provide copies of his returns to the government. While on supervised release, he also can't provide financial advice to anyone, including his mother, or be employed as an investment broker or another job where he's handling financial matters.
Williams said after the hearing that all the property forfeited will be auctioned off and go to the victims.Reade said she also considered his past behavior, which he was never charged criminally, but previous investors bilked in a stock offering scheme sued him and received an award through arbitration, which they also haven't been able to collect from Beltramea. She said Beltramea was at high-risk to re-offend.