RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A Riverside man has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for bilking victims across three states of millions in a real estate Ponzi scheme.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly handed down his sentence for Ryan Edward Rude on Thursday. Rude was also ordered to pay $2.9 million in restitution to his identifiable victims.

Rude was convicted last month of 41 counts of securities fraud, grand theft, burglary and selling unqualified securities.

Prosecutors say the 40-year-old raised $4.8 million from various victims in California, Colorado and Arizona over a two-year span while working as a real estate agent.

“The victims were promised secured interests in property development projects in Riverside and San Bernardino counties,” according to a statement issued by the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.

“However, a substantial amount of the money Rude schemed from his victims was instead used to pay previous investors or given to Rude’s friends or family, or transferred to other accounts he had,” the statement indicated.

Authorities say Rude eventually lost all of the purchased properties to foreclosure and defaulted on payments to investors. He eventually declared bankruptcy.

Rude was arrested in 2012.

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