At Madyson Capital Management of Colorado Springs, Joseph David Ryan’s big promises to investors had a way of working out in his favor — bankrolling houses, jewelry and luxury cars like a Range Rover and a Cadillac.
There was just one catch: The money wasn’t earned.
Ryan, the firm’s founder, was sentenced Monday to 24 years in prison for collecting nearly $11 million from 93 investors across Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma and other states, and then using it to fund a lavish lifestyle. He also was ordered to repay the full $11 million.
The sentence was imposed by 4th Judicial District Judge Marla Prudek after a June plea bargain by Ryan, 59. He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of securities fraud. The Colorado Attorney General’s Office, which handled the case, tossed out eight additional counts in exchange.
Ryan received credit for more than a year in jail awaiting sentencing.
The sentence was appropriate “given the severe nature of the crime, and the fact that Mr. Ryan took advantage of the people who were counting on economic security in their retirement,” said Michael Bellipanni, a senior assistant Attorney General in securities fraud who worked on the case.
“The defendant used his position to build relationships with many investors,” Bellipanni said in a statement. “He betrayed those investors and their trust in him by squandering what took them a lifetime to save. The victims will never be able to recover from the loss of their retirement funds and their life savings.”
The penalty caps an investigation into a scheme that began in 2017, with Ryan encouraging investors to cash their annuities and place their funds with his firm, promising profits of up to 7 percent from residential and commercial real estate investments.
Instead of investing the funds, Ryan pocketed them and went on a spending spree. Within months, investors stopped seeing dividends, authorities say.
Many of his investors knew Ryan through an annuities company owned by Dennis Farrah, who was previously charged with securities fraud on the allegation that he knowingly led clients into a scheme. Prosecutors dismissed the sole felony against him in June.
In November 2017, a Denver judge froze Madyson Capital’s assets, including 13 companies owned by Ryan or Madyson in Colorado Springs or Nevada. Ryan was also prohibited from marketing or selling securities when allegations against the company surfaced.
This story has been updated to correct the sentence.