A Yuma man who pleaded guilty to defrauding AEA Federal Credit Union has begun his prison sentence as an inmate in a Colorado maximum security prison.
Frank Ruiz, 63, voluntarily turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Friday afternoon, as he had told U.S. Judge Susan Bolton he would.
On April 9, Bolton sentenced Ruiz to two years in prison for his role in a fraud case that cost AEA millions of dollars and led to the financial institution being placed under conservatorship in December 2010 by the National Credit Union Administration.
Ruiz had reached a plea agreement to one count of conspiracy and one count of money laundering and cooperated in the prosecution of his co-defendants, William and Rhonda Liddle.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Ruiz is incarcerated in the Florence, Colo., Admax prison. The prison is considered a supermax facility for the most dangerous inmates in the federal prison system, according to the BOP's website.
Ruiz's attorney, Ashley Adams, did not return a call for comment by press time.
Meanwhile, William Liddle, who turns 52 this month, remains in the custody of the U.S. marshal, according to BOP. It has not been determined where he will serve his prison sentence.
Liddle, the former vice president of business lending for AEA, was sentenced on June 1 in U.S. District Court in Arizona to 15 years in prison. A jury in February found him guilty of 54 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
On May 21, Liddle's wife, Rhonda, was sentenced to 12 months of house incarceration so she can remain with the couple's two daughters, ages 9 and 15.
Rhonda Liddle, who had been found guilty of 36 counts for her role in the case, is appealing her conviction to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Under a deal agreed to by all parties in June, the Liddles will be responsible for $25 million restitution to the credit union. Ruiz was ordered to pay $6.3 million.
The restitution represents AEA's projected net loss of approximately $25 million due to excessive loans approved by Liddle to Ruiz and at least one other person in a kickback scheme. The loans ended in bankruptcy.