POSTED: 3:41 p.m. HST, Jan 24, 2011
A 34-year-old Florida man was sentenced to seven and a half years in federal prison today for operating a Ponzi scheme that collected more than $10 million from people here and on the mainland.
U. S. District Judge Michael Seabright also ordered Patrick Rakotonanahary to pay the victims $3.4 million in restitution.
Rakotonanahary pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud in connection with his fraudulent investment scheme from 2007 to 2009 promising a return of 6 percent to 10 percent per week.
Assistant U. S. Attorney Larry Tong said Rakotonanahary collected money from more than 100 people, including about 80 from Hawaii.
Rakotonananahary will be subject to deportation to Madagascar after he serves his prison term.
Tong said the victims lost life savings, retirement funds and money for college, but there's no indication that Rakotonanahary will be able to pay them.
Seabright ordered Rakotonanahary to surrender the U. S. Marshals Office here today to start serving the prison term.