A Virginia federal jury convicted two members of a Ponzi scheme that ultimately took in approximately $1.4 million from investors. Following a nine-day trial, the jury convicted Angela Allison Duty Smith, 35, and Terrance Keith Cunningham, 39, on a combined 420 counts of wire fraud, 40 counts of money laundering, two counts of commodities fraud, and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of hundreds of years in federal prison, although federal sentencing guidelines will likely call for a lower sentence.
Smith and Cunningham were part of the Safeguard 30/30 Investment Club, which was masterminded by Smith's husband, Ronald Wade Smith, Jr. According to authorities, prospective investors were promised annual returns of thirty percent through sophisticated foreign currency trading. Instead, funds from new investors were used to pay older investors, a classic hallmark of a Ponzi scheme. Smith also misappropriated investor funds to build a new home.
Smith and Cunningham are scheduled to be sentenced November 14. Ronald Smith, Jr. pled guilty in June to 239 counts of wire fraud, one count of commodities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He is due to be sentenced September 19.