White collar crime comes in many forms, but this scam is just blatant and destined to produce negative consequences.
CAROL RIBAUDO, 52, and SONJA RITZ, 28, both of Clearwater, Florida were sentenced to 57 months and 37 months respectively in federal prison for their role in a scheme to sell booking to passengers for a fraudulent cruise.
According to the US Attorney’s news release: between July 2003 and January of 2004, Ribaudo and Ritz operated Elite Business Services, a travel-related business located in McKinney, Texas. At trial in August 2007, prosecutors presented the testimony of 30 witnesses and introduced almost 200 exhibits establishing that Ribaudo and Ritz made a series of false representations to prospective passengers indicating that they would be booked on a charter cruise scheduled to occur in February 2004 and accepted payments from these prospective passengers, despite the fact that Ribaudo and Ritz had neither contracted with any cruise line for passage nor had they provided payments to any cruise line.
Now, spending time in federal prison is no vacation. So let me get this straight – these two run a scam for less than 12 months and end up spending between 3 and almost 5 years of their life in prison. You’ve gotta wonder if they would say it was worth it today? The answer would have to be – NO!
Every choice has a consequence. As a white collar crime and business ethics speaker, I speak from first hand experience about the truth about consequences. Reality is – no one escapes the consequences of their choices. While Ribaudo and Ritz avoided the consequences for a time – they did not avoid the consequences all together. Prison is no fun and will prove to be a dramatic change from their prior activities. You do reap what you sow.
If anyone reading has any background on Ribaudo or Ritz or were scammed by them – feel free to comment as I study the behaviors and backgrounds of those convicted of white collar crime.
White Collar Crime Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…