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Press Release

Hedge Fund Manager Sentenced for Operating Multimillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Florida man was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for using his hedge fund management company as part of a years-long, multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

According to court documents, Michael Wayne Williams, 48, of Miami, was the founder and operator and investment manager of Highguard Capital and its affiliated entities, Guardian Opportunity Fund and Guardian Opportunity Management. Williams convinced his victims to invest over $3.6 million in Guardian Opportunity Management and used their money for undisclosed and unauthorized purposes, including to settle civil lawsuits accusing him of fraud and to repay investors from discontinued funds that he previously managed.

Williams pleaded guilty in October 2023 to wire fraud.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge David Sundberg of the FBI Washington Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Washington Field Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorney David A. Peters of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Trial Attorney Elise Kent Bernanke of the Environment and Natural Resources Division prosecuted the case.

If you believe you are a victim in this case, please contact the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness Unit toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or by email at

Updated April 19, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-484