A Statesville man has been indicted by a federal grand jury after the FBI says he ran a $44 million Ponzi scheme. The FBI alleges that Daniel H. Williford cheated hundreds of people out of money over a six-year period with the promise of investment in tech companies.
The indictment alleges that instead of investing the money, Williford used it to furnish his personal lifestyle. The FBI says he invested only $7.7 million of the victims' money, pocketing most of the remaining $32 million while paying minimal “profits” off investments. Those profits allegedly came from funds contributed by new investors.
“For those fraudsters who have not gotten the message yet, I am committed to prosecuting financial crimes and going after those who take money from victims with fake promises. Let me make it simple: you rip people off, you get indicted,” said U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins.”
Williford is charged with one count of securities fraud, one count of wire fraud, and five counts of money laundering.
If convicted, Williford faces a maximum of 20 years in prison each for the securities fraud and wire fraud counts and a maximum of 10 years imprison for each of the money laundering counts. The securities fraud count carries a maximum fine of $5,000,000, the wire fraud count a maximum fine of $250,000, and each of the money laundering counts carries a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of criminally derived proceeds.