On June 8, 2021, Richard Gregory Tilford, from Arlington, was sentenced to serve 40 years in state prison for engaging in a fraudulent digital marketing investment scheme. He was also sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for each of six counts of selling unregistered securities and 10 years in prison for each of six counts of acting as an unregistered dealer. The sentences will run concurrently.
StaMedia was an internet advertising company. Investors were told the investments in StaMedia were backed by a digital media patent supposedly valued at up to $85 million. They were promised a guaranteed nine percent return on their investments, but StaMedia never generated any revenue and investor funds were to pay for personal expenses.
Tilford was indicted in Collin County in 2018. Former pastor Timothy Lloyd Booth, a co-defendant, was previously indicted and convicted of theft and securities fraud in connection with the StaMedia scheme. He was sentenced to serve 68 years in state prison.
Bobby Guess, a co-defendant, is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for his role in the scheme. Guess was a local radio personality and author of “Robbed With a Pen Again,” a book that purported to provide advice to investors to help protect assets from fraud.
“Our agency will continue to vigorously pursue justice for white collar crime victims,” said Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles. “We work closely with local prosecutors, assisting their offices to ensure the successful prosecution of perpetrators of complex securities schemes.”
The case was prosecuted by the Collin County District Attorney’s Office. Attorneys from the Texas State Securities Board, acting as appointed special prosecutors, assisted the office in securing the conviction. Dale Barron, Tina Lawrence, Rachael Luna and Matthew Wise served as the appointed special prosecutors, and Steve Goodman and Suzanne Steinmetz from the Texas State Securities Board testified in support of the prosecution.