Executive With Previous Affiliation to Playgirl Magazine Admits to $250 Million Fraud Scheme in Lending Business

by Chloe Baker
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An executive from Florida, Carl R. Ruderman, who was once associated with a family business that owned Playgirl magazine, has entered a guilty plea for engaging in a conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The charges relate to deceiving investors in another enterprise he was involved with—1 Global Capital LLC, a company specializing in high-interest loans to small-scale businesses.

Ruderman, 82, served as the Chairman and CEO of 1 Global Capital LLC, which declared bankruptcy in July 2018. According to federal officials, he participated in a fraudulent operation that defrauded more than 3,400 investors across 42 states out of $250 million.

The plea was entered in a federal court in Miami, and sentencing has been scheduled for January 3. Ruderman could face a maximum of five years in prison, along with the forfeiture of funds exceeding $250 million.

The Justice Department revealed in a subsequent news release that Ruderman confessed to misusing 1 Global investors’ funds for various personal expenses. These included credit card bills, vacations, employment of drivers and nannies, domestic help, educational tuition, mortgage and luxury car payments, as well as insurance premiums for his art and jewelry collections.

Moreover, Ruderman admitted to the unauthorized channeling of investor funds to enterprises that financially benefitted him and his family. 1 Global Capital LLC, headquartered in Hallandale Beach, Florida, extended what are known as merchant cash advance loans to small businesses—a loan type that prosecutors likened to payday loans.

Federal authorities stated that Ruderman and his associates provided false information to both current and prospective investors regarding 1 Global’s financial health. Investors were misled into believing that the company had undergone audits by a certified public accounting firm. They were also given false assurances that their investments would be used specifically for advancing loans to merchants and that they could anticipate high returns on their investments.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in its 2018 complaint against Ruderman and 1 Global, disclosed that the firm had solicited funds from investors—some of whom utilized their retirement savings—between February 2014 and July 2018. The SEC also reported that 1 Global was originally formed in 2013 and was owned by the Ruderman Family Trust, which also owned several other businesses, including Digi South. Digi South was revealed to have once owned Playgirl among other adult publications and had received approximately $805,000 from 1 Global without providing any legitimate services or consideration in return.

Four other individuals associated with Ruderman have previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the fraudulent activities of 1 Global. Alan G. Heide, the company’s former CFO, pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and was sentenced to five years in prison, along with an order to pay over $57 million in restitution. Andrew Dale Ledbetter, Steven Allen Schwartz, and Jan Douglas Atlas, all of Florida, similarly entered guilty pleas for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud. They were sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution ranging from $29 million to $148 million.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Securities Fraud

What is the main allegation against Carl R. Ruderman?

Carl R. Ruderman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He is accused of deceiving investors in his company, 1 Global Capital LLC, a commercial lending firm specializing in high-interest loans to small businesses.

Who is Carl R. Ruderman and how is he related to Playgirl magazine?

Carl R. Ruderman is an 82-year-old Florida executive who was the Chairman and CEO of 1 Global Capital LLC. He was previously associated with a family business that owned Playgirl magazine.

How many investors were affected and in which states?

More than 3,400 investors across 42 states were affected by the fraudulent scheme involving 1 Global Capital LLC.

What legal consequences does Ruderman face?

Ruderman faces up to five years in prison and is also subject to forfeiture of funds exceeding $250 million. Sentencing is set for January 3.

What were the funds misused for?

Ruderman admitted to misusing investor funds for various personal expenses, including credit card payments, vacation travel, and luxury items, among others.

What kind of loans did 1 Global Capital specialize in?

1 Global Capital LLC specialized in providing high-interest loans to small businesses, commonly referred to as merchant cash advance loans. Prosecutors have compared these loans to payday loans.

What false information was given to investors?

Investors were falsely informed that 1 Global Capital had been audited by a public accounting firm and that their money would solely be used for merchant cash advance loans. They were also promised high, double-digit returns on their investments.

Were there any co-conspirators involved?

Yes, four other individuals—Alan G. Heide, Andrew Dale Ledbetter, Steven Allen Schwartz, and Jan Douglas Atlas—have pleaded guilty for their roles in the fraudulent activities of 1 Global Capital LLC. They have been sentenced to prison terms and ordered to pay restitution.

When did 1 Global Capital operate and collect money from investors?

1 Global Capital operated from 2013 until its bankruptcy in July 2018. It collected money from investors between February 2014 and July 2018.

What does the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) say about 1 Global Capital?

The SEC filed a complaint in 2018 stating that the company solicited funds from investors, some of whom used their retirement savings. The SEC also disclosed that 1 Global Capital was owned by the Ruderman Family Trust.

More about Securities Fraud

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FinanceGuru October 15, 2023 - 3:25 am

SEC needs to step up their game. How did this go on for years? Someone dropped the ball, big time.

JohnDoe October 15, 2023 - 4:47 am

Wow, this Ruderman guy really took ppl for a ride huh? How can you promise high returns and then just misuse the money for personal stuff? Unreal.

JaneSmith October 15, 2023 - 8:48 am

hard to believe 3,400 investors got duped, thats a lot of people. Due diligence people!

InvestorLady October 15, 2023 - 12:32 pm

The audacity! Using investor funds to pay for vacations and luxury items? He better get the max sentence.

LegalEagle October 15, 2023 - 2:03 pm

Conspiracy to commit securities fraud is a serious charge. With co-conspirators also pleading guilty, Ruderman is unlikely to escape severe consequences.

AutoEnthusiast October 15, 2023 - 8:25 pm

Its like a real-life movie. The executive from a family business that owned playgirl, of all things, ends up running a massive scam. You cant make this up.

CryptoKing October 15, 2023 - 9:08 pm

I knew something was off about 1 Global Capital. Always be skeptical of those promising double-digit returns, especially in the lending biz.


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