Earl Jones pleaded guilty to defrauding 158 clients in a $50 million Ponzi scheme, and he has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. However, because his crime is non-violent, he could get out of prison after serving as little as one-sixth of his sentence, or 22 months.
It has to be galling for Jones’ victims to see him convicted and sentenced to nearly the maximum possible sentence, and yet he could be out in a couple of years. This shows that there never was any hope of a satisfying outcome for the victims, at least as far as punishing Jones goes.
The only (legal) satisfying outcome for the victims is the return of their money. However, selling off Jones’ possessions will only recover a small fraction of the money people thought they had invested. (As reader Gene pointed out, here is an explanation of why there is no money left even though investors thought they had a lot of money invested.)
The latest hope for the victims is to find some deep pockets to blame. The deep pockets they’ve chosen are the Royal Bank’s. Jones used a Royal Bank account to handle the money for his scheme. I have no idea whether suing the Royal Bank is a desperate move with little foundation or whether Royal Bank did anything wrong, but this seems to be the only path that could allow the victims to get a significant fraction of their money back.