- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Columbia man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for defrauding investors.

The State newspaper reported (https://bit.ly/20HiQKv) that 53-year-old Robert Stuart Leben had pleaded guilty to taking investors’ money and using it for personal expenses.

U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis on Thursday sentenced Leben to 40 months in prison. Leben was also ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution.

Officials say Leben controlled the Structure Finance Group between 2008 and 2015. Prosecutors say he lied to the investors about the money in their accounts.

Eleven investors lost about $2.3 million, some of which was recovered.

The investigation showed Leben used the money to buy a $500,000 home, a backyard pool, $180,000 worth of landscaping, vacations, surgical procedures and financial gifts to family members.


Information from: The State, https://www.thestate.com

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