The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana announced recently that John Steven Blount of Lake Charles, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme that caused $5.8 million in investor losses.
FINRA barred Blount from the securities industry back in December 2003, but despite this, he allegedly continued to work as an investment advisor. Between June 2007 and December 2014, Blount allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme that he ran through his company, Professional Consultants LLC. The scheme involved at least 73 investors.
According to court documents, Blount solicited investments in fake companies as well as bonds and other IRAs, promising that they would yield high returns. Rather than using the money as promised, Blount was accused of transferring his customers’ money directly into his own bank accounts.
To perpetuate his scheme, court documents report that Blount gave his customers fake account statements via email, and issued “returns” to investors that were actually payments made by other investors. His victims were primarily retirees who invested their retirement savings. Blount allegedly used his position of trust within the community, his website, and personal relationships to build his scheme.
Blount awaits sentencing on October 22. He faces possible prison time, supervised release, a large fine, and restitution.
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