February 18th, 2009
09:42 AM ET

Ponzi Prince Charming

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/18/ramey.ponzi.split.jpg caption="Photographs of Leonard Weston Ramey from the FBI's web site."]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Fugitives can be cunning. Few, however, are as colorful as one the FBI has profiled on its web site. He's known to play the trumpet. Prefers a glass of milk with his spanish omelette. And may want to steal you blind.

Leonard Weston Ramey was allegedly scamming investors long before the market crashed. If Bernie Madoff is the king of ponzi schemes, authorities suspect Ramey is a lower-level prince charming.

Born in 1946, the law school graduate never passed the bar exam. Instead of studying in the library, perhaps he was too busy perfecting his sophisticated version of three card monty.

Ramey is accused of luring his victims with the promise of a substantial return on their investments. All they had to do was give him their money. And trust him.
Trust they did. Many clients had no idea Ramey was an alleged professional grifter. To them, he was the businessman at Radcliff, Jenson, and Associates. On paper, the firm was sound.

In reality, police say it was a front for deceit with operations in Washington, Oregon and California.

Ramey was charged with securities fraud and theft in Tacoma, Washington. That was in 1989. He was also slapped with racketeering and money laundering charges in Oregon City, Oregon. That was in 2002. But the defendant had no intention of facing justice. Instead, he skipped town. A federal warrant for his arrest was issued.

He's a wanted man. The FBI has plastered his picture on its fugitive web site. Take a look at the photographs. The FBI considers Ramey armed and dangerous, cautioning people that he may be carrying a weapon. One other note: Ramey has an array of aliases, including Eric Radcliff, Ken Dwight, Hafoc Yates, and Ron Henderson.

No matter the name, the feds hope his days on the run will soon be over.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. marco rubino

    I also would like to to say you think that they caught Maddoff and this guy and the CEO of Tyco and they are fixing something. 90% of these big time CEO's and buisness owners are criminals and so is Donald Trump how do you think they make it to the top. How about Donald's bankruptcy's are you kidding you shouldnt be able to go bankrupt on anything when you are worth more than all of New York city. This country is a joke.

    February 18, 2009 at 8:05 pm |
  2. marco rubino

    If we take a look at people like Madoff and this fool they already have way more then they will ever need in life. All the U.S. has to do is tax everyone in the U.S. that has over two million dollars net worth as an excessive money tax and their you go no more recession no more economic problems. How about taxing Bill Gates 10% their's 5 billion alone.

    February 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  3. JebOnMyMind

    I just can't get over how much this guy looks like Jeb Bush.

    February 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  4. Bill500

    Hard to believe anyone, even someone who already has millions, would so easily part with their money without a couple basic background checks. As Mr. Trump is mentioned in the article.....do you think Donald would fall for this? Hardly! Just goes to show what happens when you combine greed, stupidity, and a little charm (the con-man's real forte).
    This guy will turn up sooner or later, but kiss your money goodbye, little fishes.

    February 18, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  5. tha_goods

    I bet when they first caught him!!
    1. They didn't freeze his funds
    2. Gave him a bail he he could afford!!
    3. They didn't freeze his assets!!
    Way to go!! U.S. Prosecutors!! Drug dealers are in the wrong game!! Steal millions from rich people, the Government will give you a way out!!

    February 18, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  6. mandy

    i like potatoes tooooo....yummy

    February 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  7. Gordon

    I second Mimi's comment. Willie should take an English language course if he wants anyone to take him seriously. I only read half the first line and then moved on.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  8. Mimi

    In response to the comment posted by "Willie:"

    You should try using spell check/grammar check. It's difficult for anyone to understand your point, especially when you can't complete a sentence.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  9. oooooooo

    I like potatoes

    February 18, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  10. Davis

    More scams that is all we need they better just give him the money or things will get bad

    February 18, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  11. willie

    why... give him what he needs then bust him. i mean its harder then it sounds but i mean. is the pres. is going to make the .U.S.A better he will need to take fugitide off the streets. oh ya any there we go theres going to be a crime so you better start now!!

    February 18, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  12. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    One can never be too greedy--Donald Trump

    February 18, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  13. meenas17

    Give the money to Ramey and forget about it. How many ways people can be fooled?Foolers and foolish make the world a messy pithole.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  14. Michael C. McHugh

    You can be sure there are a lot more crooks like these still running around free. President Obama is going to need many more FBI, IRS and SEC agents to handle the avalanche of fraud and corruption that's bound to come to light.

    Think of the 1920s, when a lot of similar stuff was going on just before the great crash. Back then, the head of the New York Stock Exchange, went to jail handcuffed between two lower class crooks.He was the same thing as they were, but just had a nicer wardrobe, and had been caught stealing everything he could get his hands on. Well, he has been reincarnated or something, because people like that are still running the show.

    FDR once said of capitalists that they were like a man you save from drowning who turns on you and complains that you didn't save his hat. I don't think Obama should be so quick to save them this time. There are a lot more important priorities in the world.

    February 18, 2009 at 9:55 am |