An ex-advisor who promoted himself as a “financial maven” in radio ads and seminars in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has been arrested for running a $6 million Ponzi scheme, according to Texas securities regulators.
Authorities took Bobby Eugene Guess into custody on Monday following his indictment on charges tied to the multimillion-dollar sale of investments in an internet advertising company to retirees and others. In the Dallas area, he hosted the radio show “Dollars & Sense.”
The Dec. 15 indictment included charges of securities fraud, theft, money laundering and engaging in organized criminal activity. Guess was barred from the industry in 2011. He and his sales associates are accused of selling some $6 million of notes, stock certificates and investment contracts in StaMedia Inc. of Dallas, promising yearly returns of 9%.
The indictment explains that Guess raised millions from investors in for the past two years without disclosing the fact that StaMedia had “negligible revenue and net income since its founding in 2013,” the Texas State Securities Board says.
Guess founded and led Texas First Financial LLC of Frisco, despite being barred for the past five years. Also, he has been promoting and selling high-yielding securities in various investment programs since his expulsion from the industry.
Through a Ponzi scheme, he appears to have raised money for two separate companies, which was used to repay previous investors in StaMedia.
Also, the ex-advisors failed to disclose that funds raised from investors in StaMedia were used to repay investors in TenList Inc., a Frisco-based company owned by associates Timothy Booth and Shawn Sandifer.
When Booth was indicted on Nov. 17 for securities fraud and other charges, the judicial authorities said he apparently spent some funds raised for StaMedia on luxury cars and other personal expenses.
His wife, Cammie R. Booth, was indicted in September on charges of making false statements to automobile dealerships in Plano, Texas.
Texas regulators allege that Guess concealed ongoing federal investigations into his sales to investors.
On Aug. 15, Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan ordered Texas First Financial to cease operations. The emergency order cited Guess’ failure “to disclose to potential investors the issuance and execution of [a] search warrant, among other violations of the Texas Securities Act,” regulators say.
Guess challenged the order but did not appear at the legal proceeding, prompting Judge Fernando Rodriguez to enter a default order against the former advisor on Sept. 8.