Richard Leal Ferguson of San Benito, Texas, pleaded guilty on March 23, 2007, in the 138th Judicial District of Texas in Cameron County, Cause No. 07-CR-319-B, to theft by deception and misapplication of fiduciary property, both of which are first-degree felonies.
Doing business as Access Group of South Texas and Group Innovation, Ferguson sold securities to raise funds for feasibility studies with environmental impact assessments. He also participated in an advance fee scheme that purported to provide, as a service for an advance fee, the research, preparation, and submission of a loan/grant application to federal or state government agencies on the victim's behalf.
Ferguson was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution to investors.