Texas Securities Roundup: $10M Ponzi Scheme, Foreign Note Sale Fraud, Promissory Note Scam, and Money Laundering Lead to Indictments, Criminal Sentences

$10M Texas Ponzi Scam Solicited Over 100 Investors
Austin resident Robert Roland Langguth is sentenced to four years in federal prison for running a $10 million Texas Ponzi scam that solicited over 100 investors to become involved in real and bogus construction projects and investments. Often, the money brought in would go toward supporting the 71-year-old’s extravagant lifestyle.

Monthly dividends paid to investors were actually payments from newer investors, which is typical for a Ponzi scam. Last year, Langguth pled guilty to money laundering and wire fraud charges. Aside from prison time, he will pay more than $10 million in restitution to investors that were defrauded.

$5M Texas-Based Foreign Note Sale Scam Leads to 80-Year Prison Term
After being convicted of theft of property in a North Texas-based foreign notes scheme, Karen P. Bowie is now sentenced an 80-year state prison term. Bowie was involved in a $5 million financial fraud involving Titan Wealth Management LLC, which sold bogus high-yielding “European Mid-Term Notes.”

Bowie is said to have benefitted from $2 million of investor funds, even buying a coastal home with some of the money. The Securities and Exchange Commission in a related, but separate civil action in 2009 sued her, along with Titan Wealth, its owner Thomas Lester Irby, and others.

San Antonio Man Must Pay $1.1M Restitution Over Texas Promissory Note Fraud
After pleading guilty to two counts of mail fraud, The Wealth Building Club of San Antonio owner Tony Anthony Cruz Jr. is sentenced to 10 years probation and must now pay $1.1 million in restitution. Cruz sold bogus promissory notes through his company to investors in Eagle Pass, San Antonio, and Richmond, Texas.

As part of his Texas promissory note scheme, he told investors that because of his experience and knowledge as a successful currency trader, WBC notes would be able to pay monthly returns of 2 to 6%. The State Securities Board investigated this case.

Former NFL Kicker Russell Erxleben Faces Securities Fraud Charges Again
Ex-pro football player Russell Erxleben has been indicted on charges of Texas securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Erxleben is accused of selling post-WWI reconstruction bonds that were German government-issued and of questionable debt, as well as interests in a painting he says was made by artist Paul Gauguin.

Both investment scams were allegedly fraudulent. Instead, Erxleben allegedly used investors’ funds to perpetuate a Ponzi scam and support his lifestyle. This is the second securities fraud case against the former NFL player, who was previously sentenced to prison previously for a bogus $35 foreign currency trading scam.

Texas State Securities Board

Texas Securities Board Bulletin: Russell Erxleben stays put, The Potpourri, May 23, 23013
Charges Against Langguth (PDF)

US v. Cruz (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Texas Securities Criminal Case Against Oil and Gas Company Executive Can Proceed, Rules Fifth Circuit, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 6, 2013

Alleged Houston, Texas Affinity Fraud Scam Targeting Druze and Lebanese Communities Leads to SEC Charges Against Day Trader, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 28, 2013
Two Oppenheimer Investment Advisers Settle for Over $2.8M SEC Fraud Charges Over Private Equity Fund, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 14, 2013