Brevard County Men Gets 10+ Years for $18 Mil Real Estate Fraud Scheme

Education & Training with (retired) TN LIC# 290452

Brevard County Men Sentenced to More Than

10 Years for Operating $18 Million Fraud


U.S. Attorney’s Office January 30, 2015
  • Middle District of Florida (813) 274-6000

ORLANDO, FL—Senior U.S. District Judge John Antoon, II today sentenced


Donald Ray Babb (58, Merritt Island) and



Ralph Victor Ruth (61, Melbourne)


to ten years and one month in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The Court also ordered the forfeiture of their interest in the following properties:

  1. 422 Waterside Drive, Merritt Island, FL;
  2. 3502 Tipperary Drive, Merritt Island, FL;
  3. 3661 Turtle Mound Road, Melbourne, FL;
  4. 312 Sycamore Circle, Warne, NC; and
  5. 3498 NC Highway 60, Murphy, NC,

which were traceable to proceeds of the offense.

As part of their sentence, the Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $18,731,125.58, the proceeds of the conspiracy, and ordered restitution in the amount of $9,728,968.48. Both pleaded guilty on November 12, 2014.

According to court documents, between June 2006 and December 2013, Babb and Ruth orchestrated a scheme in Brevard County that ultimately defrauded approximately 181 investors out of $18.7 million.

Doing business as Southeast Mutual Insurance and Investment, LLC, Capstar Industries, LLC, and First Merchant Capital, LLC, Babb and Ruth falsely represented their businesses as licensed financial institutions whose deposits were insured by the FDIC. Using these entities, they advertised risk-free Certificates of Deposit (CDs) investment opportunities that yielded high rates of return. However, neither Babb nor Ruth ever purchased a CD for an investor.

Instead, they used the money to make payments to earlier investors in the scheme, and to purchase real estate and other luxury items for themselves.

This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Haas.

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David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold! many folks trying to put one over on others..sad, but at least some justice is served

Feb 01, 2015 11:18 PM #1
David Saks
(retired) - Memphis, TN

It's a wild, wild world in the real estate business, Kristin Johnston, Waukesha Realtor 414-254-6647 . This nation's prisons are loaded with crooks in this business. He'll feel right at home.


Feb 01, 2015 11:30 PM #2
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

David, Right here in Brevard County! It happens all over the world! It seems that we keep hearing more and more stories about things like this. Terrible!


Feb 04, 2015 04:12 AM #3
David Saks
(retired) - Memphis, TN

Real estate fraud is so common Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate that you could put a map of the world on your wall, throw a dart at it blindfolded, and almost with certainty hit a spot where it's had an impact on the community that the dart landed on.

Feb 04, 2015 07:03 PM #4
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