Richard Donald Theye was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Nov. 19 after pleading guilty in July to one count of securities fraud and eight counts of wire fraud.
Theye ran a securities and commodities trading operation from Austin for nine years, promising investors returns of up to 2% a month. A joint investigation by the Texas State Securities Board, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the FBI and federal prosecutors revealed that Theye was running a Ponzi scheme.
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 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.