Robert Stinson Jr., who pleaded guilty in 2011 to defrauding at least 262 investors of $17.6 million in a Ponzi scheme, has won a reduced sentence from a federal judge in Philadelphia.
Stinson, whose track record of fraud dates to the 1980s, was originally sentenced to 33 years and four months in prison, 10 percent more than the maximum guideline sentence, court records show.
The new sentence, determined Thursday by U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson, is 27 years, according to Nneka Sutherland, a spokeswoman in Philadelphia for the IRS criminal investigation division, which helped investigate Stinson's crimes.
Stinson's fraud from 2006 to 2010 centered on a entity called Life's Good S.T.A.B.L. Mortgage Fund L.L.C., which promised investors returns of 16 percent on money that would be used to make short-term mortgages for real estate investors who bought houses, renovated them, and sold them quickly.
Stinson's lawyers with the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania appealed the sentence to the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and in August won a favorable opinion.
The question for the appeals court was whether Stinson deserved additional time because he defrauded financial institutions of more than $1 million. The appeals court ruled that Stinson's fraud did not meet the standard for the stiffer sentence and ordered resentencing.
A court-appointed receiver has continued its efforts to recoup money for defrauded investors. According to a report filed Nov. 6, the receivership had $837,532 in the bank, but it was "premature to assess whether there will be any distribution to investors," the report said.