DALLAS (CN) — Former radio talk show host and wealth manager Bobby Guess was arrested Monday on charges he raised $6 million in a Ponzi scheme behind an online advertising company, the Texas State Securities Board said.
Guess, 65, of Frisco, was in Collin County jail Tuesday afternoon, on $500,000 bond. He formerly hosted the “Dollars & Sense” radio show in Dallas.
He was indicted on Dec. 15 by a Collin County grand jury, charged with securities fraud, theft, money laundering and engaging in organized criminal activity in raising money for StaMedia.
More than 60 investors gave money to Guess beginning in November 2014, the indictment states. The Securities Board says he failed to disclose federal investigations into his business and failed to disclose that StaMedia had negligible revenue and net income since it was founded in 2013.
The indictment lists 61 “appropriations,” from November 2014 until August this year, in amounts ranging from $24,500 to $567,000. Only 11 of the appropriations were less than $50,000. The appropriations were made “without the effective consent” of the investors, or were “induced by deception,” the indictment states.
“The indictments allege Guess perpetuated a Ponzi scheme in raising money for investments in two separate companies,” the Securities Board said in a statement Tuesday.
“Investor funds raised through Guess were allegedly used to repay previous investors in StaMedia the returns they were promised. Guess also failed to disclose that funds raised from investors in StaMedia were used to repay investors in TenList Inc., a Frisco-based company owned by two Guess associates, Timothy Booth and Shawn Sandifer,” the Securities Board said.
The Securities Board in August ordered Guess and his company, Texas First Financial, to cease and desist selling unregistered securities, and said Guess was an unregistered securities dealer.
Guess wrote the 2014 book, “Robbed with a Pen Again: a Guide to Protecting Your Assets.” The Texas First Financial website, checked Monday, was still touting the book.
“I will show you how you can keep yourself from being scammed by financial predators and reveal some of the latest ways the industry and agents attempt to deceive you with high commission products,” the website stated. “Just pay shipping and handling.”
Guess has had a rough week. One day after his indictment, the SEC filed for a Rule 45 subpoena of Guess in Fort Worth Federal Court, relating to a civil lawsuit in the Northern District of Georgia.
The SEC said he was an owner and vice president of Georgia-based Credit Nation when the agency sued it in 2015 on similar Ponzi allegations.
The SEC said that “Guess represented the investment [in Credit Nation Capital] was ‘backed by hard assets dollar for dollar’ when in truth and fact the company’s liabilities dwarfed its assets and the company sustained multimillion-dollar per year operating losses,” according to the Securities Board order.
Frisco is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, directly north of Dallas.