Portland, Ore. — Three former executives of Aequitas Management, LLC, and related entities were sentenced to federal prison following their conviction in a vast fraud conspiracy that raised nearly $300 million from defrauded investors. The individuals sentenced and their respective penalties are as follows:
- Robert J. Jesenik, 63, former CEO of Aequitas, was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to forfeit over $1.5 million.
- Andrew N. MacRitchie, 59, formerly of Palm Harbor, Florida, received a 70-month prison sentence and was ordered to forfeit $689,662.
- Brian K. Rice, 56, of Portland, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $116,627.
Restitution for victims will be determined at a later date.
The convictions stem from a conspiracy that operated from June 2014 to February 2016, during which the former executives solicited investments by providing false information about Aequitas and its subsidiaries, misrepresenting the use of investor funds, and failing to disclose critical information about the company’s financial condition.
Aequitas, once headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, used deceptive tactics to solicit investments in various notes and funds. The collapse of Corinthian Colleges, one of Aequitas’s major holdings, triggered a series of events leading to Aequitas’s demise.
A federal grand jury indicted Jesenik, MacRitchie, and Rice on multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and wire fraud. After a six-week trial, they were found guilty on all charges.
Former Aequitas executives Brian A. Oliver and Olaf Janke previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering. Janke is scheduled for sentencing on October 18, 2023, and will pay full restitution. Brian A. Oliver’s guilty plea was vacated after his death on July 7, 2023.
Nelson Scott Gillis, a former Aequitas senior executive and CFO, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a bank. He is set to be sentenced on October 10, 2023, and has also agreed to pay full restitution.
The case represents one of the largest fraud investigations conducted by the Portland FBI, with losses totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. It serves as a reminder of the commitment to investigating and prosecuting those involved in fraud schemes for personal gain.