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SEC bars adviser already sentenced to 6 years in prison

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that it had barred one-time financial adviser Martin A. Ruiz, who was sentenced in June to six years in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud his investment advisory clients out of their retirement savings that involved private, limited partnerships.

Ruiz had been registered with Carter Bain Wealth Management in Las Cruces, New Mexico, from 2004 to 2021, according to his Investment Adviser Public Disclosure profile on record with the SEC. According to the firm’s most recent Form ADV, it had $61.6 million in client assets and 488 client accounts.

A call to Carter Bain Wealth Management Friday morning could not be completed.

As part of his settlement with the SEC, Ruiz was ordered to pay client $10.9 million in restitution.

According to the SEC, from 2011 to 2021, Ruiz solicited funds from investors, and in those solicitations “made false statements about the true nature of where and how investments would be made.”

The investments Ruiz solicited “were securities in the form of limited partnerships in a fund that [he] owned and solely managed,” according to the SEC.

“While ostensibly acting in his fiduciary capacity as their investment adviser, Ruiz instead induced more than a dozen such clients to invest more than $10 million in an investment fund called RAM Fund through the purchase of limited partnership interests,” according to a statement from the Department of Justice. “Ruiz did not disclose to those clients that [he] controlled RAM Fund and that he planned to misappropriate their funds.”  

He took $8 million of client money and “spent the vast majority of the funds on personal expenses, including the purchase of a home, rent payments on several apartments, and the payment of his personal credit card bills,” according to the Department of Justice.

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