Former TCU Football Player And Fellowship Of Christian Athletes Staffer Is Sentenced To 168 Months In Federal Prison For Defrauding Investors In Nearly $16 Million Forex Scam
Defendant Also Ordered to Pay $9,985,403 in Restitution
DALLAS – Eldon A. Gresham, Jr., 67, formerly of Olney, Texas, was sentenced this afternoon, by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis, to 168 months in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $9,985,403 in restitution following his guilty plea in January 2013 to one count of mail fraud stemming from a foreign currency exchange (ForEx) scam he ran from January 2004 through June 2009. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, Gresham recruited at least 90 individuals to invest in his ForEx trading business, The Gresham Company, which he operated out of Peachtree City, Georgia, where he resided. Gresham falsely represented to potential investors that he consistently generated large investment returns by trading investor funds in off-exchange foreign currency contracts in the ForEx market. Over the life of the scheme, Gresham fraudulently obtained approximately $15.8 million in investor funds.
As also noted in the superseding indictment, Gresham specifically targeted members of the Christian faith as potential investors, knowing that many of these Christian investors were elderly and particularly vulnerable to his scheme. He induced Christians to give him funds for investment by telling them that his success in currency trading was a blessing and gift from God, which Gresham considered to be “his ministry.” He also persuaded Christian investors to give him funds by telling them that the investors could later use investment profits to further God’s works.
According to the factual resume filed in the case, Gresham falsely represented inflated profits to investors and represented to several investors that he had never suffered any losses in his currency trading. He also falsely represented to investors the financial condition of their investor accounts by sending monthly emails that included falsely inflated investment profits. Gresham also falsely represented to investors that funds he distributed to existing investors were actual returns on investment for that investor, when he knew some of those funds were actually funds he received from new investors.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service was in charge of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Jarvis, J. Nicholas Bunch and Kate Pfeifle prosecuted.