A California man entered a guilty plea to charges he operated an investment club Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of $2.2 million. Garry Bradford, 62, of Sacramento, pled guilty to a single count of wire fraud in front of United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. Wire fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of twenty years along with a criminal monetary penalty of up to $250,000.
Bradford was the president of Millenium Capital Group, which solicited investments in land and construction-related ventures. From 2003 to 2008, nearly $2.2 million was raised from twenty-one investors, some of whom refinanced their houses or used retirement funds to fund their investment. However, instead of making real estate investments, Bradford used funds of new investors to make payments to existing investors, a hallmark of a Ponzi scheme. The scheme unraveled in 2008 when Bradford was unable to meet payment obligations to investors.
Bradford is scheduled to be sentenced on April 6, 2012.