Richard Donald Theye, who for nine years ran a securities and commodities trading operation from Austin, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on July 30 to one count of securities and commodities fraud and eight counts of wire fraud.
Theye was indicted June 1 after a joint investigation by the State Securities Board, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas.
The indictment alleged that Theye created a number of financial entities to pool the investments of individuals in the trading of commodities, stocks, options and futures.
Theye took in $11.9 million from investors, according to the indictment, and returned $8 million in purported investment returns to keep his Ponzi scheme going. Theye liquidated the remaining $3.9 million and used the money for his personal expenses, according to the indictment.
Theye's sentencing is set for November 19.