Chicago trading firm founder Randall Rye was living a lavish lifestyle until it came out that he had no idea how to use investor’s money other than to spend it on himself.
Just last year Rye dropped $110,000 on tickets to see game 5 of the World Series at Wrigley Field and that isn’t the only sporting event he’s attended using his investor’s cash, according to the Chicago Tribune. Rye created the illusion that he had developed a trading algorithm guaranteed to reap huge returns through his company, Faster Than Light Trading, LLC.
Now, prosecutors say there was never any algorithm and Rye never invested the money he received from his clients.
“In reality, the only thing Rye did that was faster than light was spend the victims’ funds,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunil Harjani wrote in a recent court filing, according to the Tribune.
Rye pleaded guilty in April to one count of wire fraud, admitting in a plea agreement to have scammed about 20 investors out of roughly $1.67 million between September 2015 and February 2017. Prosecutors are asking the Rye be put in jail for a minimum sentence of six and a half years, but Rye’s lawyer, Mary H. Judge, is asking for a sentence of no more than three years.
“Like many fraud defendants, Mr.Rye convinced himself he could fix the problem and regain the funds needed to properly pay his clients,” Judge wrote, according to the Tribune. “The deeper the hole he found himself, the deeper he dug himself in, and the more he abused alcohol and drugs, thereby creating a vicious cycle that quickly imploded into this case.”
Investors that were duped by Rye have expressed little sympathy for this argument knowing that Rye stripped them of their hard earned nest eggs marked for retirement or college funds for children.