A 60-year-old Kauai man has been convicted of operating a $19 million fraud that victimized 140 people.

A federal court jury today convicted David E. Ruskjer following a 14-day jury trial.

Florence Nakakuni, U.S. Attorney for Hawaii, said Ruskjer was convicted of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, money laundering and illegal currency transactions.

He will be sentenced Jan. 5 by U.S. District Court Ssenjior Judge Helen Gillmor.

From 2004 through 2008, Ruskjer operated “Ruskjer & Associates,” and “Dave’s Investment/Loan Program,”in Koloa, Kauai.

Ruskjer claimed to be a successful options trader and told clients his investments could earn them four to five per cent a month in interest income.

One investor who entrusted $7.5 million to Ruskjer was promised a 50 per cent annual interest return by Ruskjer, said Nakakuni.

When the government seized Ruskjer’s assets, some $4.1 million remained in his bank accounts and he owed his clients $19 million, the government said.

The case was investigated by the IRS and prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Atty. Leslie Osborne.

A federal court jury deliberated two days before returning it verdict. Ruskjer was found not guilty of one mail fraud account.

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