|ED WHITE, Associated Press|
"I never intended to hurt a single person," Bravata, 44, of
"Did we make mistakes? Maybe. Did we grow too fast? Maybe," he said. "Did I steal these peoples' money? I did not."
Bravata, a successful insurance salesman in an earlier career, was convicted of fraud and conspiracy in March. Prosecutors said he misled people about the safety of their money and especially preyed on those 55 and older who had lump sums to invest. More than 400 investors had been promised steady interest payments.
At the start of a long hearing, Borman heard from six investors, including
Philliben said she's been "lied to, take advantage of and humiliated beyond belief."
"I am a dedicated Catholic woman," Cassar said, her voice rising and breaking, "but I cannot forgive
Bravata got a long single sentence for more than a dozen crimes, but he also got a break of sorts. Prosecutors wanted him to serve some sentences for the many crimes one at a time, which could have put him away for life. Borman declined.
Bravata "lied to people to get their money and lied to people to keep their money," Assistant U.S. Attorney
Borman said Bravata seemed to blame everyone but himself.
"This isn't a scheme gone bad. This started with bad intentions and stayed bad," the judge told Bravata.
The government says Bravata and partner
Bravata complained that many investors who don't blame him weren't allowed to testify at trial. He said
Bravata will get credit for more than two years in prison while awaiting trial.
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