A Brooklyn grand jury indicted an East New York man on July 1 for posing as a securities broker and pocketing $16,800 in investment funds, according to District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Ronald Bibby, 44, allegedly approached four people in August 2016, and convinced them to hire him as their stockbroker. Over the course of four months, prosecutors say that Bibby urged his “clients” to send $500 to $8,300 investments to his nonexistent brokerage firm, which landed in Bibby’s personal checking account. Bibby used his victim’s bogus investments to fund vacations to Atlantic City and Myrtle Beach, authorities claim.
The victims — who had little to no investment experience — say that Bibby sent them daily investment updates on their fake “shares,” and told them that within weeks of their first payments, their stocks had appreciated thousands of dollars, according to the DA’s office. Bibby allegedly told his clients that they could not withdraw their earnings for three months, and by mid-2017, Bibby had stopped responding to the four victims, authorities say.
The investigation also revealed that Bibby was collecting $4,720 in unemployment payments, despite working full-time at Cobble Hill Health Center and earning a salary of about $80,000.
Following the indictment, Gonzalez urged inexperienced investors to double-check their stockbroker’s credentials before they cut a check.
“I strongly encourage anyone considering investing with a broker or brokerage firm to make sure they are registered and licensed to sell securities with the Financial Industry Regularity Authority, as required by law,” Gonzalez said.
Bibby’s LinkedIn page claims him to be an “experienced sales and marketing professional,” and lists “asset management,” “capital appropriations,” and “cold calling” as some of his skills. The name of his allegedly phony brokerage firm, RDB Consulting Group LLC, resembles a legitimate South African brokerage firm, RDB Consulting.
The defendant was arraigned Monday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram on charges including first-degree scheme to defraud, as well as third- and fourth-degree grand larceny. Bail was set at $20,000, according to Gonzalez.
An indictment is not a conviction, and Bibby, who is presumed innocent until proven guilty, will return to court on Aug. 28.