News and Press Releases

WYOMING, MICHIGAN MAN GETS 6 1/2 YEARS IN PRISON FOR PONZI SCHEME AND FALSE INCOME TAX RETURNS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Roger Lee Clark, 66, formerly of Wyoming, Michigan, received a sentence of 6 ½ years in prison for committing a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme and filing false income tax returns, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. U.S. Attorney Davis was joined in the announcement by FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez. Special Agents of the FBI and of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division had investigated the case.

The Honorable Janet T. Neff, U.S. District Judge, presided over the sentencing. Judge Neff expressed her concern regarding the seriousness of the “knowing and willing theft” by Clark and the trail of financial ruin he left behind. “The pain of that financial ruin for older people is particularly reprehensible.” In a terse attempt to explain the $9.3 million fraud, Clark said, “things happened.” Judge Neff replied, “Wow, that takes the cake.” Judge Neff also ordered Clark to pay restitution to the victims and serve a combined total of 4 years of
supervised release. Clark also agreed to a money judgment of $9,162,380.99, and the forfeiture of undeveloped real property in Byron Center as well as numerous vehicles.

Clark claimed that he owned and operated CRM Investors Corporation for the past 16 years, despite never having any training in financial planning or any related financial fields. Clark used CRM, along with other fictitious businesses that he created, to hide money and assets from victims and evade his income taxes.

In 2007, Clark instructed a California investor to wire transfer $1,001,500 into a bank account controlled by him. Clark explained to the investor that she was investing in the T-Bill trading program and that her investment 100% secure. Clark admitted that in September and October of 2007, he sent the victim two wire transfers of $180,000 each and lied to her that the payments represented earnings from her investment, when in fact, the first payment came from her own principle and the second payment was from the principle of another investor. On January 29, 2009, Clark emailed the California investor indicating that all of her money was lost, but never stated where the money actually went.

Clark filed a 2007 tax return that reported his total income to be slightly over $11,000 when he knew that his actual total income was significantly higher. As part of his sentence, Clark was also ordered to pay total of $163,646.00 in back taxes.

“Investment fraudsters prey on trusting investors by enticing them with a ‘can’t miss’ deal and then stealing their hard earned money,” said Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez.
“IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to investigating investment schemes in an effort to
protect the financial well being of the American investor.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena added, “The public should be aware that even though the FBI continues to vigilantly pursue these types of criminal violations, we live in a buyer beware investment environment. Investors should vigorously investigate the background information of all investments and the individuals handling them.”


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