PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A West Warwick man pleaded guilty Wednesday to defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, according to U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha.
Thomas Huling, 58, was convicted of orchestrating an elaborate Ponzi scheme to raise approximately $14 million over the course of a decade.
Prosecutors said between 2008 and 2018, Huling promoted several investment projects designed to entice investors.
When giving sales pitches, Cunha said Huling would incorporate religion and the possibility of charitable good works. In some cases, he would reportedly flaunt his supposed association with well-known individuals.
Prosecutors said when the investors contacted him for updates on the projects, he would either make excuses or not respond. To get some of the investors off his back, Cunha said Huling would use money raised from new investors to pay off earlier ones.
In total, prosecutors believe Huling’s scheme cost his victims more than $6 million in losses.
Huling also began committing tax evasion in 2009 by reporting no taxable income and would sometimes file false individual and corporate income tax returns, according to Cunha.
Prosecutors said Huling used all of the money he raised to fund his lavish lifestyle, which included high-end vehicles, membership and golf fees at multiple country clubs, gambling, clothing, restaurants, vacations, travel and home improvements.
Huling remains in federal custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 19.