DALLAS (CN) – A Lamesa man pleaded guilty to money laundering in a $14 million Ponzi scheme, federal prosecutors say. Rod Stringer, 43, took the money from 44 victims over 8 years, claiming to be “a day trader and hedge fund operator, although he was not a licensed securities broker,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Stringer doled out about half the money to some victims, but kept $6.9 million for himself, prosecutors said.
“He solicited and enticed individuals to invest money with him by making false representations and promises, such as: the return on investors’ money would be approximately 50% profit; he was a day trader and had a foolproof system; the return on investors’ money would be better than a savings account; the accounts were liquid and investors could withdraw their money anytime; and he had several computers that watched the trend line of stocks automatically and advised him when he should move money in and out of the market,” according to a written statement from prosecutors.
Stringer spent investors’ money to buy residential, rental and commercial property and a vacation home, according to court documents. Although he operated other businesses, including a bail bond business, a used car business and a tow truck business, none were profitable.
Stringer faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. The plea agreement calls for Stringer to forfeit more than $1.5 million.