Josh Gould was sentenced today to eight months in the pen.
, the 32-year-old University City resident and former Woodbury Financial broker
millions of dollars from his Orthodox Jewish brethren in a Ponzi scheme
, was sentenced today to 97 months in federal prison.
Gould was also ordered to pay his more than two dozen victims restitution totaling $4.3 million.
U.S. District Court judge Rodney Sippel
cited the "individual families that were destroyed" by Gould, who showed up to court in a dark, pint-striped suit and black kippa
(See our coverage
of the crime or read the full indictment
Gould's father, himself a victim, addressed the court, describing the occasion as "a very painful day" for him and his whole family. (To keep the pyramid scheme afloat, the younger Gould ended up stealing thousands from his own mother's inheritance).
The most scathing attack on the defendant actually came from a tearful
Josh Gould himself, who described his own actions as "heinous" and
"disgusting," and considered himself "selfish and despicable."
"I don't expect anyone to believe what I'm saying," Gould stated. "I've lost all credibility."
Indeed, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith
felt it necessary to correct the narrative put forth by Gould's attorney, Al Watkins
Specifically, the prosecutor said it was "outrageous" to suggest, as
Watkins had, that the young man launched businesses such as The Sports Nook
in order to earn money to make things right for his victims.
ticket broker businesses were started with money from victims, and
Gould enriched himself with the proceeds, the prosecutor said.
also gave a voice to victims not present by reading their written
statements aloud. Many were elderly, some were widows.
Sippel, in making his final ruling, said that one victim in particular
"jumped out" at him. A woman who'd worked with Gould had lost her
husband and had only $7,000 of savings for her and her child. Gould took
"I don't mean to lecture you," the judge told Gould. "[But] You knew that was all she had, and it didn't stop you."
behalf of the government, Goldsmith asked for an application of the
federal guidelines, which called for a minimum of 97 months. That's the
sentence Gould got, despite a request for a downward departure made by
After sentencing, Watkins says, "Given the totality of the circumstances, my client is very happy."
Goldsmith declined comment.