(STL.News) – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging David John Ridling (57, Vero Beach) with 10 counts of wire fraud, 4 counts of bank fraud, 9 counts of money laundering, and 2 counts of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Ridling faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each wire fraud count, 30 years in federal prison for each bank fraud count, 10 years in federal prison for each money laundering count, and a mandatory penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft counts.
According to the indictment and information presented in court, Ridling, over the past three years, has attempted to defraud five financial institutions, one financial services provider, and one local Orlando business out of more than $50 million. Ridling’s scheme involved the use of false brokerage account statements, fabricated tax returns, and false financial statements to obtain loans and lines of credit. As part of his scheme, Ridling falsely claimed that certain individuals served as his account representatives at a financial brokerage company. He used email accounts for two of those representatives, purporting to be them, in an effort to convince lenders that he had millions of dollars in his two brokerage accounts. In fact, Ridling only had one account, which never had more than $2,000 in it. Ridling used some of the proceeds that he had obtained from his victims to pay amounts that he had owed to other victims to prolong his scheme.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.