Suspects Who Defrauded Victims For Millions Plead Guilty

By  //  November 14, 2014

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face up to 20 years in Federal prison

A Federal Judge accepted the guilty plea of Donald Babb, left, and Ralph Ruth, right, in reference to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud at the Federal Courthouse in Orlando, today. The defendants face up to 20 years in Federal prison and the restitution of over 18 million dollars to the investors they victimized. (BCSO images)

A Federal Judge accepted the guilty plea of Donald Babb, left, and Ralph Ruth, right, in reference to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud at the Federal Courthouse in Orlando, today. The defendants face up to 20 years in Federal prison and the restitution of over 18 million dollars to the investors they victimized. (BCSO images)

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – A Federal Judge accepted the guilty plea of Donald Babb and Ralph Ruth in reference to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud at the Federal Courthouse in Orlando, today.

The defendants face up to 20 years in Federal prison and the restitution of over 18 million dollars to the investors they victimized.

The investigation began in November 2013, when the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received complaints regarding two investment companies located in the Merritt Island and Rockledge area.

Southeast Mutual Investment and Insurance Company along with an associated company Capstar Industries were reported to have closed their doors without any warning to investors. Concerned investors advised that no contact information was provided or an ability to collect their investments.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Task Force Unit initiated an investigation, which revealed company owners Donald Babb and Ralph Ruth were also under investigation by the Department of Financial Regulation for fraudulent activity to include allegations of conducting a Ponzi scheme. Victims identified reside primarily in the Brevard County area, but spanned into Georgia, Texas, and New York as well.

Due to the enormous financial impact of this investigation, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office along with the Department of Financial Regulation coordinated a joint investigation with the FBI, which was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Orlando. During the course of investigation it was determined the two companies had been operating in Brevard County since 2006.

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The businesses posted advertisements promising large returns for investments in CD’s that were publicized as FDIC insured. In fact, the investigation determined that money taken from clients was never legitimately invested, but instead used to support a lavish lifestyle for business owners Donald Babb and Ralph Ruth.

At the conclusion of the joint investigation, 181 victims were identified with a total loss of over $18 million. Individual monetary loss ranges from $5,000 to $1 million. The majority of victims are seniors, with the loss for many representing their entire life savings.

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The Financial Crimes Task Force concept continues to make an incredible difference. I can’t thank the participating agencies and the United States Attorney’s Office enough for providing such valuable resources to combat this devastating crime. By combining our resources and eliminating jurisdictional boundaries, we can aggressively seek those who prey upon our identities and good names.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft.

That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.

The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.

Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.

Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.


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