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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Ponzi Man Looking at Up to 20 Years

OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) - An Oklahoma man was convicted, again, for his role in a $4.5 million Ponzi scheme selling investment notes.

Brian William McKye, 49, of Bethany, Okla., was found guilty Thursday of seven counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering after a four-day trial.

The jury deliberated for less than 90 minutes.

McKye faces up to 20 years in federal prison and $4.5 million in restitution.

McKye did business from 2006 to 2009 as Global West Funding, Global West Financial, Sure Lock Financial, Sure Lock Loans, and The Wave-Goldmade Ltd.

He used the businesses to market investment contracts, guaranteeing investors monthly returns of 6.5 percent to 20 percent for 6 to 60 months.

"Investors were told they had '100 percent total control' of their money and that the investments were secured by risk-free real estate notes," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

"However, McKye was not a registered investment advisor or broker-dealer in the state of Oklahoma and he used the money he received from investors to pay his own personal and business expenses and some limited returns to investors to keep the scheme ongoing."

McKye ripped off 83 victims for at least $4.5 million, prosecutors said. His companies were shut down by the state Department of Securities in early 2009.

McKye represented himself at trial.

McKye was convicted in November 2011, sentenced to 21 years in federal prison and ordered to pay over $4.5 million in restitution.

The 10th Circuit reversed and remanded in August 2013, finding that the trial judge had erred in instructing the jury that the notes in question were securities.

"Because the question of whether a note is a security is a mixed question of fact and law and because this jury was instructed that the government was required to prove the instruments issued by Global West were securities as an element of its case, the district court erred when it instructed the jury that notes are securities," the 10th Circuit ruled.

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