William Leon Fenoglio of Bowie was sentenced on December 17, 2009, to six years in state prison for second-degree securities. Fenoglio, a licensed insurance agent at the time, sold one-year debt securities totaling $122,000 to six elderly investors. He promised an annual return of 15 percent. Fenoglio told the investors he would use their money to expand his insurance agency but instead spent most of the money on personal expenses and to pay debts to previous investors. Fenoglio was indicted for securities fraud in Erath County on March 26, 2008, and pleaded guilty on October 29, 2009.
A Harris County Grand Jury indicted Robert Chet Noel of Sugar Land on nine counts of securities fraud on November 30,. Noel, the president of Integrity Petroleum Group, received $154,200 from investors in Harris County for working interests in oil and gas wells. According to the indictment, Noel intentionally failed to disclose material facts, among them that investors' money would be used for purposes other than those for which they invested.
Alfred Renteria of San Antonio was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication on November 24,, after pleading nolo contendere to charges of misapplication of fiduciary property and securing the execution of a document by deception. Renteria was indicted by a Bexar County Grand Jury on the charges on November 21, 2007.
Jeremy McGilvrey of San Antonio was sentenced to 20 years in state prison on two counts of misapplication of property by a fiduciary. McGilvrey, the former CEO of Hill Country Wealth, a money management firm, pleaded guilty to the counts on October 22,, and was sentenced Nov. 30,, by Bexar County state District Judge Maria Teresa Herr. McGilvrey was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and at least $1.9 million in restitution to his victims. McGilvrey was convicted of spending some of his investors' money on his personal expenses. He spent investor funds to pay his personal credit card bills, buy a Mercedes-Benz automobile, and take trips to Las Vegas casinos, according to the State Securities Board's Notice of Hearing to revoke McGilvrey's registration. McGilvrey's registration was subsequently revoked on October 16,.
William N. Kirshner, a Corpus Christi financial adviser, pleaded no contest to second-degree felony theft and was sentenced to five years in prison on November 16 for stealing approximately $103,000 from clients who invested in promissory notes issued by his company, W.N. Kirshner & Co. The prison sentence was suspended and Nueces County state District Judge Nanette Hasette placed Kirshner on two years probation. Kirshner was also ordered to pay $10,300 in restitution to eight victims. As part of the plea agreement with attorneys in the enforcement division of the State Securities Board, Kirshner also agreed to a cease-and-desist order that prevents him from selling unregistered securities.
A Potter County grand jury on November 10 returned multiple indictments against John F. Langford and Jimmy Don King, principals in an Amarillo insurance agency who are charged with the sale of unregistered securities and fraudulent securities. Langford was indicted on 15 counts and King was indicted on 10 counts. The cases against Langford and King began with an investigation by the Texas State Securities Board, which continues to work on the case with the Potter County District Attorney's office.
Alan Keith Nelsen and Mary Alice Monteza of San Antonio were each indicted on October 14,, on four felony counts for allegedly selling fraudulent high-yield investment products. The pair allegedly sold investments through a business called Castro International. The Bexar County grand jury indicted Nelsen and Monteza for securities fraud; misapplication of fiduciary funds; theft by deception; and execution of a document by deception. The indictments also state that Nelsen and Monteza did not tell investors they had entered into an agreed cease-and-desist order with the Texas State Securities Board in July 2007. The Order required Nelsen and Monteza to stop selling unregistered securities.
Stanley James, Jr., of Richmond pleaded guilty on October 12, 2009 to charges of theft, money laundering and misapplication of fiduciary property in connection with a fraudulent investment company that took in more than $385,000 from investors. James solicited investors for various enterprises, including concert promotions, a record company, and day trading and overseas trading of securities. Evidence in the case showed that James used investors' money for personal expenses, including trips of Las Vegas and building a swimming pool at his residence. Fort Bend County state District Judge Clifford Vacek sentenced James to 15 years in state prison. The case was investigated and prosecuted by Mogey Lavelle, assistant director of the Enforcement Division in the Houston office of the Texas State Securities Board, and W. Scott Carpenter, an assistant district attorney in Fort Bend County.
Bruce E. Hammonds of San Antonio was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison on October 2,, for two counts of securities fraud. Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, also imposed three years of supervised release and ordered Hammonds to forfeit $232,451. Hammonds had been a registered representative with Merrill Lynch when he defrauded victims by representing that he was trading through a Merrill Lynch-sponsored fund. In reality, Hammonds had placed investor funds into his personal account under the name of B&J Partnership. When Merrill Lynch discovered Hammonds's activities, the brokerage terminated Hammonds and repaid investors whose funds were deposited through the brokerage; however, Hammonds continued his scheme to defraud some of the same victims by telling them he would trade through B&J Partnership at Peregrine Financial, aka PFGBest. A joint investigation by the San Antonio FBI, the Texas State Securities Board and the United States Attorney's Office in San Antonio led to this criminal prosecution.
Charles Scott Goist of Plano was sentenced to 46 years in state prison on August 12,, for stealing $1.7 million from investors in a fraudulent real estate scheme. A Collin County State District Court sentenced Goist to 46 years on each of four counts: theft, money laundering, securities fraud and securing the execution of a document by deception. The sentences will run concurrently. Goist was indicted on the charges on June 18,, in Collin County State District Court.
William June Fletcher Jr., a Plano man who pleaded guilty to fraud in 2006, was indicted by a Collin County Grand Jury on August 13,, for securities raud involving oil and gas investments. The indictment accuses Fletcher of failing to tell investors that he used some of their money to pay country club membership fees and the purchase of two BMW automobiles, among other personal items. Fletcher also allegedly used investor funds to pay court-ordered restitution stemming from his 2006 guilty plea.
Stephanie Jean Seelye of McKinney pleaded guilty to money laundering in Collin County State District Court on July 7,. Seelye, the wife of convicted felon William Lester Seelye (see May actions, above), was sentenced to five years deferred adjudication and 60 days in the Collin County jail.
Richard Allen Wilson of Houston, who pleaded no contest to sale of an unregistered security, was ordered to two years deferred adjudication, community supervision, a fine of $1,000, and 75 hours of community service. Wilson was sentenced July 22,, in the 176th District Court of Harris County for his role in the sale of interests in Brazos Valley Capital, a purported hedge fund.
The Rockwall County Grand Jury returned indictments against Wayne A. Rand, Douglas L. Williams, and Chad D. Taylor on July 29,, for securities fraud, theft and money laundering. The indictments stem from the men's sale of interests in oil and gas drilling projects purported to be run by Rock Wall Oil Co. and Black Lake Energy Inc. The indictments state that Rand and Williams failed to tell investors they had used previous investor funds to buy personal vehicles, jewelry, boats, and other items.
Steven James Denton was indicted by the Collin County Grand Jury on June 18,, for securities fraud and theft in connection with the sales of interests in oil and gas exploration projects. Denton raised at least $1.4 million from investors, but he allegedly used most of the money to pay his salary and personal expenses – not for energy exploration projects, as he told investors.
Reginald Lee Clark was indicted on June 17,, by a Limestone County Grand Jury on two counts of misapplication of fiduciary property. According to the indictment, Clark misappropriated more than $200,000 from an elderly couple with the intent to deprive the couple of their property.
Paul David Coleman of San Antonio was indicted on June 8, on charges of securities fraud, misapplication of fiduciary property, theft by deception, selling unregistered securities, and sales of securities without being registered. The Bexar County grand jury indictments charge Coleman with misrepresenting the financial status of his company, Delphi Security Solutions, and with failing to disclose to investors that he filed for personal bankruptcy in 1998.
William Lester Seelye of McKinney was convicted of theft of property May 1,, in the 219th District Court of Collin County. Seelye was sentenced to 99 years in state prison and fined $10,000 for stealing money from investors in oil and gas exploration projects. In August, Seelye was sentenced to 10 years each on convictions for money laundering and securities fraud in related cases. Those sentences will run concurrently.
Gregory Keith Rand, William Nicholas Rand, Mark Albert Rand, William Anthony Rand, and Joel William Petersen (all Dallas area residents) were indicted May 6,, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, cause no. 3:09-CR 120-P, on charges of securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit such fraud, money laundering, and engaging in illegal monetary transactions. The men allegedly committed these offenses involving oil and gas ventures with Aspen Exploration, Inc.
Brittain Wayne Bowers of Bishop was convicted May 11,, in the 199th District Court of Collin County, in cause nos. 199-82423-07 and 199-82424-07 on charges of misapplication of fiduciary property and theft of property. The charges related to Bowers's involvement in the sale of limited partnership interests for Monarch Fund LP to operate a hedge fund. Bowers was ordered to pay a total of $500,000.00 in restitution to the victims of the scheme and sentenced to ten years community supervision and ten years deferred adjudication to be served concurrently.
Jeffrey Charles Bruteyn of Dallas was indicted May 19,, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, in cause no. 3-09 CR 136-K on charges of securities fraud. Bruteyn allegedly engaged in fraud in connection with the sale of secured debt obligations and collateral secured debt obligations issued by AmeriFirst Funding Corporation and AmeriFirst Acceptance Corporation.
Michael Eugene Dannelly of Denton was indicted April 9,, in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, in cause No. 4:09-CR-00067-RAS-DDB on charges of mail fraud and money laundering. Dannelly allegedly obtained over $16 million from investors based on fraudulent representations related to the sale of oil and gas securities.
Michael R. Rouse of Wellington, Fla., was indicted April 22,, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, in cause no. 3:09-CR-00113-B on charges of securities fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit such acts. The charges stem from sales of real estate investments in Golden Gate Real Estate Investment Trust.
Chad Michael Hays of McKinney was indicted April 24,, in the 196th District Court of Hunt County, TX, in cause nos. 25585, 25586, 25587, 25588, and 25589 on charges of selling unregistered securities, acting as an unregistered dealer or agent, securities fraud, engaging in organized criminal activity, and theft in connection with the sale of securities in Mack Diamond Energy, LLC, and Honey Grove Single Well Joint Venture.
In a related case, Kevin Dennis Hays of Euless was charged with selling unregistered securities, acting as an unregistered dealer or agent, securities fraud, and engaging in organized criminal activity in cause nos. 25590, 25591, 25592, and 25593.
William Leon Fenoglio of Bowie pleaded guilty and was convicted of one count of theft against an elderly individual on March, 13, in the 142nd District Court of Midland County in cause no. CR34548. Fenoglio, a licensed insurance agent, persuaded the individual to invest $30,000 in his agency for one year at 15 percent interest. Instead, Fenoglio used the investor's funds to pay unrelated personal expenses. Fenoglio was sentenced to six years community supervision and ordered to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $28,500.
Michael Ray Gee, also known as Michael Ray Wright, pleaded guilty on March 13,, to charges of securities fraud and misapplication of fiduciary property in Dallas County Criminal Court. The court ordered deferred adjudication for Gee, placed him on probation for 10 years, fined him $3,500, and ordered him to pay $148,133 in restitution. Gee was accused of raising funds from investors for an oil and gas project but spent the money on personal and other unrelated expenses.
Donald Joseph Dean of Tyler was indicted March 27,, in the 196th District Court of Hunt County in cause nos. 25526, 25527, 25528, and 25529 on charges of securities fraud, selling unregistered securities, acting as an unregistered dealer or agent, and engaging in organized criminal activity in connection with the sale of securities in Mack Diamond Energy, LLC, and Honey Grove Single Well Joint Venture.
In related cases, Michael David Lamont of Allen was charged with selling unregistered securities, acting as an unregistered dealer or agent, and engaging in organized criminal activity in cause nos. 25543, 25544, and 25545.
Also, Carl Tinsley Ratner of Trophy Club was charged with securities fraud, selling unregistered securities, acting as an unregistered dealer or agent, and engaging in organized criminal activity in cause nos. 25561, 25562, 25563, and 25564.
Dean Lee Elliott of Dallas was indicted February 26,, in the 219th Judicial District Court of Collin County in cause nos. 219-80412-09 and 219-80413-09. Elliott was charged with Securing Execution of Documents by Deception and Theft of Property relating to sales to investors in oil and gas well projects.
Ronald Keith Owens of Mineral Wells was sentenced January 23,, in the 29th Judicial District Court of Palo Pinto County, in cause No. 13609, to serve 60 years in state prison. Owens sold investment contracts in New Life Trading Group and Executive Investors Joint Venture, representing that funds would be used in a prime bank trading company overseas. No funds were ever invested in any off-shore investment program. Instead Owens used them to pay investors a purported return on their investments and to pay his own business and personal expenses. Owens was previously sentenced in U.S. District Court to serve 63 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution to both his victims and the IRS in the amount of $3,132,680.79.