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Tomich sounded in tears as she discussed his destitute situation. In addition to a $900 a month social security check, he was living off $1,000 a month he received from Ryan, she said.
Tomich admits Ryan was convincing as he sat at the table with the family, talking about farm land he supposedly owned and his time as a high school wrestler.
Tomich concedes as much, saying she doesn't expect her family will see the money one of their own earned over a quarter century.
That man, Matthew J. Ryan, was in Nebraska to urge the family to invest the money left to them with him about $88,000 for each of the woman's siblings, Tomich said, and substantially more than that for the deceased woman's husband.
"I think there are legitimate theories of civil recovery for these people," O'Connor said, though statutes of limitation may be approaching for some.
"She took half of her paycheck every month without fail never missed one time and saved that money," she said. "She worked so hard."
Tomich recalls dealing with American Integrity's customer support e mail as she sought to get the money her sister left her. At one point, an e mail response from purported American Integrity employee Tom Burton praised Ryan, calling him "one of the most respected, diligent people we've worked for."
If a 10 count federal indictment is to be believed, Tomich's instincts were right. Ryan, formerly based at 13 First St. in downtown Troy, is accused by the federal government of scamming investors of millions in what the Securities and Exchange Commission has called a Ponzi scheme. District Court, and a trial is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 23 in Syracuse.
Concerned family members are looking into whether he can collect welfare.
"He has a real charisma about him," she recalled. "Because my family is farm oriented, he talked about the tractors he has and the equipment he uses."
The SEC alleges Ryan presented American Integrity as a Manhattan based firm with many employees when in fact it was run only by Ryan and had a New York City mail drop. He admitted doing so to SEC investigators, according to court filings.
Timothy O'Connor, an Albany attorney, said Ryan "would get into a family and work the family, so to speak."
About two months after her sister died in spring of 2008, Merryann Tomich and her closest relatives sat down across from the man with whom her sister had invested 25 years' worth of savings.
O'Connor is representing some alleged victims in hopes of recovering their money, possibly through a class action suit, from other financial institutions associated with Ryan who many be liable. Ryan was working for other institutions when he retained some of his alleged victims.
as it is one of dollars. Her siblings, who did not wish to speak about the matter, can probably afford to take the loss, she said. But for her 90 year old father, a World War II fighter pilot, it's a different story.
Catherine Goyer, a Petersburgh woman who said she invested some $40,000 with Ryan over 14 years, said in an e mail to The Record that Levine told her he expected little money to be left once Ryan's outstanding bills are paid.
That recovery likely won't come from the federal government, which has appointed a receiver to assess Ryan's frozen assets. That receiver, Paul Levine, recently filed a document with the court in which he says that, having reviewed all of Ryan's assets and debts, the investor's financial world was on the verge of collapse when the SEC began its action.
"His life has been turned upside down," she said. "It's the saddest part of it, because he's at the end of his life and now we have to be telling him, 'no, you can't spend that,' 'you can't buy that,' 'you can't have that.' That part of it probably is the worst. The rest of us are pretty resilient, and sometimes your anger Alexander Mcqueen Sneakers
The 45 year old defendant is free on $50,000 bond. He is represented by Latham attorney David Taffany, who has not returned numerous messages seeking comment.
Tomich, who is in her mid 60s, opted against investing her $88,627.43 Christian Louboutin Trainers White with Ryan. Despite a number of hoops she said he made her go through, she got almost $60,000 of it from Ryan by the time his assets were seized when the SEC began its action.
can get you through a moment."
For her, though, it's as much a question of dignity Christian Louboutin Sneakers Womens
"He was flying in from New York, and we were, of course, totally impressed that he would take time to do that," Tomich said over the telephone from her home in Kimball, Neb. "He showed up in his rented Lincoln Navigator and his dark blue pinstriped suit, and when I shook his hand I thought, 'I don't like him.' He had a real limp handshake."
Victim details impact of Troy man's alleged scheme
But her relatives, all of whom invested, weren't so lucky. One sister is out about $30,000 like Tomich herself, and another sister lost her entire $88,000, she said. Her deceased sister's husband, meanwhile, appears to have lost nearly $250,000, and her father was also scammed.
The federal government alleges that Ryan's company American Integrity Co. took $4.8 million since 2002 from investors, many of them senior citizens, by promising fixed return rates and placed them in a bank account. Only $1.9 million was ever returned to investors, with the remainder being used to pay Ryan's real estate costs and personal expenses like luxury cars, according to the indictment.
"Sounds like that was Matt, also," she said.
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no one in the family knew that her sister had been putting aside from each paycheck for the 25 years she worked for the state of Alaska in Anchorage, Tomich said.
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