|July 25, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced the guilty plea and sentencing of a Sarasota County man charged with organized fraud in connection to an investment scam. Friday, Russell Haraburda pleaded guilty to one count of organized fraud stemming from an investment scheme involving multiple investors and millions of dollars.
According to the investigation by Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, from January 2009 to February 2014, Haraburda set up investment companies that collected more than $3 million from customers. According to the investigation, Haraburda spent at least $1.6 million of customers’ money on personal expenses. These personal expenses included more than $280,000 to remodel his home, $180,000 for automobile and transportation expenses, $140,000 spent on personal bills, $83,000 for shopping and more than $66,000 for health and fitness expenses.
In the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Haraburda entered a guilty plea, and Judge Debra Riva sentenced Haraburda to eight years in prison followed by 22 years of probation. During the probation period Haraburda is prohibited from gaining any type of employment involving solicitations from investors.
Haraburda is ordered by the court to pay nearly $2 million in restitution plus court and investigative costs.
The Office of Statewide Prosecution prosecutes multi-circuit organized crime while working regularly with federal and state counterparts to coordinate efforts against criminal activity. The Office provides proactive partnership to law enforcement and is not limited to geographic or judicial boundaries in the state of Florida.