William Charlton Mays IV, a former investment adviser representative in Corpus Christi, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison on Sept. 18 after being convicted on securities fraud and theft charges.
Mays was sentenced to 20 years for fraud and 10 years for theft in the 214th State District Court of Nueces County. He will serve the sentences concurrently. Mays was also ordered to pay $102,117 in restitution and assessed $20,000 in fines.
Mays sold investments in a gold, silver, and commodities trading operation. He promised his clients that the investments, sold in the form of investment contracts and promissory notes, would earn them annualized returns of between 6% and 18%.
Mays used very little of the $225,000 he raised from investors to trade commodities. He spent most of the money on an array of personal expenses -- child support, payment to a credit card company to settle a lawsuit for nonpayment, restaurants, grocery bills, and housecleaning services. Also, pool maintenance costs.
Mays made occasional payments to investors, but he did it as part of a Ponzi scheme. The one investor who received most of his money back from Mays was paid with funds Mays collected from another investor.
In most cases the amounts Mays paid were a small fraction of the funds investors sank into the fraudulent operation.
Mays was registered as an investment adviser representative from 1995 until Nov. 1, 2011.
Mays had legal and financial troubles before the commodities trading scam even launched, but he did not disclose them to investors as required by law.
In 2011, the IRS filed a federal tax lien of $42,924 against him, and that same year he was hit with a $20,289 final judgment in a civil court case in Travis County.
The Nueces County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted Mays. Texas State Securities Board enforcement attorneys Angela Cole, Rachael Holman, and Melanie Good were appointed special prosecutors.