Rockville, Maryland wealth advisor Garfield M. Taylor has been indicted on fraud charges related to an alleged Ponzi scheme that authorities say cost investors nearly $25 million.
According to the seven-count indictment, Taylor allegedly convinced investors to invest with him by promising large returns. He also allegedly claimed that he used a sophisticated securities trading strategy that was proven to protect against loss. Prosecutors, however, say the reality was far different.
Instead of investing the funds as promised, Taylor allegedly used a substantial portion of the investors’ funds to make “interest” payments to earlier investors. He also allegedly never used the trading strategy he told investors he would use. Any funds he did manage to invest allegedly made either minimal profits or were lost.
Taylor was one of six people charged with the alleged scheme by the SEC in 2011. The SEC’s civil complaint accused Taylor and his co-defendants of defrauding more than 130 investors out of more than $27 million over the course of five years. According to the complaint, Taylor and the others promised investors annual returns of around 20% with little to no risk.
The criminal indictment against Taylor was returned on Feb. 21. It charged him with wire fraud, securities fraud, and the unlawful sale of unregistered securities. Taylor pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Feb. 28, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. For additional information in the Garfield Taylor investment fraud case, click here.