Man draws prison time in fraud
The co-owner of a former investment firm that was a front for financial fraud and bilked local people for upward of $2 million recently was sentenced to five years in prison.
Rodney W. Whitney was a principal in Integra Capital Management, which purported to be a commodities trading investment firm. Integra was set up to pool money from clients and invest in commodity futures and foreign currency exchange — known as forex — trading. Integra operated from a small, unassuming office in south High Point on Swathmore Avenue near the intersection of S. Main Street.
The U.S. Department of Justice charged Whitney and the other co-owner of Integra, Nicholas Cox, with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Cox is awaiting sentencing, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department told The High Point Enterprise.
Federal prosecutors previously indicated that Cox and Whitney gave investors false contracts, tax forms and account statements to cover their scam. They also misled investors about their financial experience and potential returns on investments. Instead of investing money from clients, prosecutors say the men paid off earlier investors from proceeds of later ones, all the while buying cars and property for themselves in a classic Ponzi scheme.
In addition to five years in prison, Whitney was ordered to pay $2 million in restitution to victims of the scam by a federal judge in the Western District of North Carolina out of Charlotte. Whitney was sentenced earlier this month.
The judgment indicates that Whitney should pay restitution to 20 parties, who include individuals and families. Specific amounts of restitution range from $12,395 to $237,034.77.
As part of his sentencing, Whitney agreed to forfeit assets to go toward compensating victims of Integra. According to the judgment, Whitney pleaded guilty one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Whitney’s attorney declined to comment about the case when contacted by the Enterprise Tuesday.
Previously, Cox pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, five counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the Justice Department. Cox’s sentencing has been continued, and a new date hasn’t been set, the Justice Department spokeswoman said.
Whitney and Cox both had local ties, according to information on file with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office in Raleigh. In addition to the business office in south High Point, Whitney once listed a management business address in Archdale, while Cox listed a management business address in Denton.
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