DALLAS (CN) - RCS Hedge Fund operator Rod Cameron Stringer took more than $45 million from 31 victims, many of them elderly, through false promises and claims that are "completely bogus," the SEC says in Federal Court. It claims Stringer, who "has been, among other things, a bail bondsman, used car salesman, tow-truck driver, crop dusting pilot, and now, a hedge fund manager," is still running the scam.
Stringer, 43, of Lamesa, Texas never registered his "bogus" hedge fund and has never held a securities license, the SEC says. It adds: "Stringer has been, among other things, a bail bondsman, used car salesman, tow-truck driver, crop dusting pilot, and now, a hedge fund manager."
He demands a minimum investment of $100,000 to $200,000 for his "purported hedge fund" and falsely claims annual returns of 61% and total returns "in excess of 600%," the SEC complaint states. It adds: "Stringer's claims regarding the hedge fund and the high rates of return are completely bogus."
Since 2007, Stringer has invested less than 20% of the money he took in securities deals, "and those transactions have resulted in substantial losses, not gains, as reported to investors," the SEC says. "Moreover, Stringer has misappropriated millions of dollars of investor funds to support and extremely lavish lifestyle and to operate a Ponzi scheme in which he used funds from new investors to pay 'returns' to earlier investors."
The SEC says Stringer began his scam in 2001, and the FBI and SEC began investigating him in 2007. Since then, he took in at least $8.5 million and spent only $1.5 million of it in securities trades, the SEC says. "The exact disposition of the remaining funds is presently unknown," but it says he spent some of it on horses, a "luxury boat," to build a swimming pool at his office, buy jewelry, pay off mortgages on at least two houses, and to buy "several expensive cars and trucks." He used at least $2.4 million of the $8.5 million to pay off old investors with the new money, the SEC says.
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