Belgrade, Montana, man gets 20 years in prison, ordered to pay $4.45 million for Ponzi scheme

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A Montana man who was convicted of running an investment scam that prosecutors say took in more than $5 million from at least 140 investors in 20 states has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

District Judge Holly Brown on Thursday sentenced 53-year-old Richard Reynolds to 60 years in prison with 40 suspended and ordered him to pay nearly $4.5 million in restitution.

Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert says the Belgrade man was given credit for about two years he spent in jail or on house arrest.

Reynolds was convicted in December of six felonies, including running a Ponzi scheme. His defense attorney argued that state investigators froze Reynolds' assets before the investors' money could reach its full potential.

Prosecutors said Reynolds and his wife diverted more than $4.3 million for their own use.