Dennis Gibb would approach investors, many of them late in their lives, with a promise of a secure and modest payout. Not with assurances of an outrageous return, often featured in Ponzi-scheme pitches, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Instead of the promised “secure” return, more than 15 investors were robbed of their money. And after a March guilty plea and June sentencing Gibb, a longtime investment advisor in Redmond, will spend five years in prison, forfeit a money judgment of $3.19 million and pay back about $4.23 million in restitution.
This includes about $1.77 million that remained in the Sweetwater Income Flood LP Fund, one set up by Gibb in 2008. Gibb will turn these funds over to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for disbursement to victims as part of the restitution order.
“[Gibb] entered into a scheme and deliberately, intentionally and knowingly stole money from people who came to him,” said Chief U.S. District judge Ricardo S. Martinez, at sentencing. “Many victims, late in their lives, entrusting him with money they intended to get them through the last years of their lives.”
The charges — one count of wire fraud and two counts of falsification of records — stem from conduct that began in 2007, when Gibb began soliciting investors looking for steady retirement income, according to charging documents.
From 2007-18, 20 investors put about $7.3 million into the fund. And Gibb allegedly used $3.1 million of this money for his business and living expenses including mortgage and car payments.
Prosecutors said Gibb also falsified documents given to the SEC, when they began their investigation into Sweetwater and provided victims with false tax documents, causing some victims to pay taxes on non-existent financial gains.
In April, Gibb’s attorney Mike McKay said Gibb accepted full responsibility and was apologetic for his actions.