HOUSTON (CN) - A former attorney in Houston faces up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to running a $7.8 million Ponzi scheme, prosecutors said.
Billy Frank Davis admitted he defrauded 20 people of $7.8 million through bogus real estate investments, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
"During the past 10 years, Davis, 67, held himself out to friends and potential investors as being involved in the real estate investment business," prosecutors said in the statement. "While Davis did conduct some legitimate business activity during this time period, a substantial portion of the funds he solicited were simply part of a Ponzi scheme Davis was operating in an effort to satisfy old debts and to fund his personal lifestyle.
"In acknowledging his criminal conduct (on Monday) morning before U.S. District Judge David Hittner, Davis admitted to using a variety of ploys to perpetuate his Ponzi scheme, all of which involved falsely representing to investors the existence or nature of various real estate investment opportunities, accepting funds from investors under such false pretenses, and then using the investor funds in a manner other than as represented to investors."
Davis pleaded guilty to wire fraud, and agreed to be held responsible for his victim's losses. Hew will be sentenced on Jan. 11, 2013.
Besides prison time, Davis faces up to a $250,000 fine.
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