Former Texas Bail-Bondsman Charged In $45 Million Ponzi Swindle

In the aftermath of a probe by the Securities & Exchange Commission and the FBI, a former Texas bail-bondsman has been accused of swindling investors — many of them senior citizens — out of millions of dollars.

Rod Cameron Stringer was named a defendant in an SEC complaint filed yesterday in Texas.

Stringer claimed his stock-trading strategy “has generated annual returns as high as 61%, and total returns in excess of 600%,” the SEC said.

‘Extremely Lavish Lifestyle’

In truth, the agency said, Stringer “has been operating a fraudulent scheme since at least 2001, during which he has misappropriated millions of dollars of investor funds to support an extremely lavish lifestyle and to make Ponzi payments to earlier investors with new investor funds.”

Stringer used less than 20% of the investors’ funds to engage in securities transactions, and those transactions have resulted in substantial losses, not gains, as reported to investors, the SEC said.

An “expedited investigation” by the FBI and the SEC focused on Stringer’s activities since January 2007, the SEC said.

“Since that time, the complaint alleges that Stringer raised at least $8.5 million from  approximately 12 -15 investors. Contrary to Stringer’s representations, only approximately $1.5 million of this amount made its way into three securities brokerage accounts, each of which is maintained in Stringer’s personal name.”

What happened to the money is unclear.

“The exact disposition of the remaining funds is presently unknown, but it is clear that Stringer used substantial amounts of investor funds to, among other things, finance a horse racing partnership, purchase a luxury boat, build a swimming pool at his office, purchase several pieces of jewelry, pay off mortgages on at least two houses, and purchase several expensive cars and trucks,” the SEC said.

At least $2.4 million of the $8.5 million invested by clients was used “to pay distributions and purported profits to other investors,” the SEC said.

A receiver has been appointed “to recover and conserve assets for the benefit of defrauded investors,” the SEC said.

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