A Texas man was indicted today for his role in a Ponzi Scheme estimated to have pulled in $4 million of investor funds. Christopher Blackwell, 32, was charged with two counts of wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. 1343. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in federal prison along with a $250,000 fine.
Prosecutors allege that Blackwell, operating AV Bar Reg Inc. and Millers A Game LLC, claimed to have an established trading program in which investors could receive gains of 25% - 30% per month. In attempting to bolster his credibility and reputation, Blackwell made a variety of representations concerning his academic and professional background. These claims included masters and doctoral degrees from a Spanish university and previous employment at Goldman Sachs and the Bank of Madrid. All of these claims were false.
Thus far, twenty victims have been identified. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Blackwell in February, which was settled in March.
A copy of the criminal complaint is here.
A copy of the complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission is here.