Feb 4

Karen P. Bowie, a Maine resident who participated in a North Texas-based foreign notes scam, was sentenced to 80 years in state prison on Friday after being convicted of theft of property.

The Collin County District Attorney's Office prosecuted the case, and Dale Barron a Texas State Securities Board enforcement attorney, served as a special prosecutor. Judge Benjamin N. Smith of the 380th State District court in Collin County sentenced Bowie after a week-long trial.

Bowie was part of a $5 million fraud perpetrated by Titan Wealth Management LLC of Plano, which sold fictitious high-yielding "European Mid-Term Notes" that were supposedly issued by European banks. Evidence in the case showed that Bowie personally benefitted from $2 million of investor funds and used some of the money to buy a coastal home in Maine.

Titan Wealth was owned by Thomas Lester Irby II, a Frisco money manager who promised investors that notes issued by European banks would pay short-term returns of between 10% and 50%. Most of the money Irby raised from investors paid for his personal expenses and was diverted to pay earlier investors in what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.

Bowie was one of Irby's partners in the Titan Wealth fraud.

Irby was sentenced to 24 years in state prison in December 2010 after his conviction on a charge of money laundering. The sentence, handed down in Collin County State District court, included 10 years deferred adjudication on charges of theft and securities fraud. Barron also served as special prosecutor in the Irby case.

In a separate civil action, the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009 sued Titan Wealth, Irby, Bowie, and other people involved in the company. The SEC action, alleging that Titan Wealth operated as a Ponzi scheme, shut down the company and placed it in receivership. The SEC testified in Bowie's criminal trial.