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Investment advisers face SEC ban in church fraud scheme

Robert Riddle holds umbrella over his son, Aaron

Robert Riddle holds umbrella over his son, Aaron Riddle, as the two leave Brooklyn federal court. (April 14, 2009) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Two investment advisers were slapped with lifetime bans on securities trading in a Uniondale company’s $9.3 million fraud scheme involving a minister who fleeced his own church members, the Securities and Exchange Commission reported this month. 

Each of the two advisers was also ordered to make $3.3 million in restitution, the SEC report said. 

The two were part of a network of corrupt investment advisers at Jadis Capital Inc., of Uniondale, who promised elderly parishioners returns of up to 75 percent, prosecutors said. But instead of investing the money, the conspirators spent it on expensive cars, jewelry, travel and outings in the Hamptons, authorities said. 

The two advisers, Stephen Cina, 32, of Westbury, and Timothy Smith, 31, of Pennsylvania, were banned after their guilty pleas, on charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn. 

Cina was convicted in September and sentenced to six months of home detention, five years’ probation and 150 hours of community service. 

Smith was convicted in October and sentenced to 5 years' probation and 250 hours of community service. 

The bans against Smith and Cina follow a series of enforcement actions against other Jadis officers. 

The others convicted in the scheme include Isaac Ovid of Trinidad, 28, an ordained minister at the Local Christian Assembly, in Forest Hills, the church whose members were defrauded; and Joseph Coleman, 40, of Westbury, the son of the senior pastor. Aaron Riddle, 34, and Robert Riddle, 59, both of Pennsylvania, were also convicted in the fraud. 

Photo shows defendant, co-conspirator Robert Riddle leave court.

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