Alabama authorities today charged two Alabama men for their involvement in a Ponzi scheme that may result in investor losses exceeding $1 million. Carey Michael Billingsley, 59, of Rockford, Alabama, and Spero X. Vourliotis, of Birmingham, Alabama, were both charged with one count each of Sale of Unregistered Securities and Sale of Securities by an Unregistered Agent. Vourliotis was also charged with securities fraud.
According to authorities, Billingsley and Vourliotis offered investment opportunities through the use of "investment clubs" known as The Cornerstone Investment Group, The Capstone Group, and the Tri Stone Group. However, neither the two men nor their companies were registered with the Alabama Securities Commission to offer securities for sale in Alabama. After the men incurred steep investor losses following bad trades, authorities allege that investor funds were pooled and falsified financial statements were produced to conceal these losses from investors. The Alabama Securities Commission has identified at least 28 known investors, and believes losses could approach the millions.
One source of investors for the failed scheme may have been through Billingsley's former position as a member of the board of directors of Alabama Trust Bank in Sylacauga. Both men have been released on $20,000 bond.