Jul 22
2011

Michael Rouse of Wellington, Fla., was sentenced to 17.5 years in federal prison on July 22 for his part in a fraud that raised at least $2 million for a phony real estate investment trust.

Rouse co-founded Golden Gate Real Estate Investment Trust and promised investors safe returns of about 15% a year.

Instead of real estate, he used investors' money to make failed foreign currency trades.

Rouse was convicted in April on federal fraud and money laundering charges, but he failed to show for sentencing.

Rouse was also ordered to pay $1.97 million to the 62 victims of his crime.