Carl R. Ruderman, an 82-year-old Florida executive with a background in the adult entertainment industry, Playgirl magazine, has entered a guilty plea for conspiracy to commit securities fraud related to his role as chairman and CEO of 1 Global Capital LLC.
This commercial lending company, based in Hallandale Beach, Florida, filed for bankruptcy in July 2018 and was involved in a $250 million scheme that affected more than 3,400 investors across 42 states.
Ruderman’s guilty plea was entered in federal court in Miami, and records show that his sentencing is scheduled for January 3. He faces a potential prison sentence of up to five years and forfeiture of over $250 million.
The Department of Justice revealed that Ruderman admitted to misusing 1 Global Capital investors’ funds for personal expenses, including credit card payments, vacation travel, household staff payments, tuition, mortgage expenses, luxury car payments, and insurance payments for his art collection and jewelry.
Moreover, Ruderman acknowledged diverting investors’ money to his family’s benefit without their knowledge. The fraudulent scheme involved making false representations to investors and potential investors about the profitability of 1 Global.
They were falsely informed that the company had been audited by a public accounting firm, that their investments would be allocated to merchant cash advance loans, and that they could expect double-digit returns.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint against Ruderman and 1 Global in 2018, revealing that the company collected money from investors, including those who used retirement savings, from February 2014 to July 2018.
The SEC also disclosed that 1 Global was owned by the Ruderman Family Trust, which had interests in various businesses, including Digi South, the former owner of Playgirl and other adult magazines. Digi South and 1 Global shared the same address, and 1 Global transferred approximately $805,000 to Digi South without receiving any legitimate services or consideration in return.
Ruderman’s case is not isolated, as four of his co-conspirators have previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the 1 Global fraud:
Alan G. Heide, the former 1 Global chief financial officer, pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He received a five-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay more than $57 million in restitution.
Andrew Dale Ledbetter, a lawyer, pleaded guilty in 2021 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud. He received a five-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay more than $148 million in restitution.
Steven Allen Schwartz, a director and consultant at 1 Global, pleaded guilty in 2020 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud. He was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay more than $36 million in restitution.
Jan Douglas Atlas, another lawyer, pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud. He was sentenced to eight months in prison and was ordered to pay more than $29 million in restitution.