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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Defendant sentenced to prison for Ponzi scheme in which over 160 investors lost approximately $11 million

ATLANTA - Billy Wayne McClintock has been sentenced to prison for his role in a Ponzi scheme that garnered approximately $20 million and cost over 160 investors in excess of $11 million.

“McClintock and his co-conspirator promised investors a profitable and successful return on their investments, when in fact they were compensating investors with funds raised from other investors,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Investors should be cautious when offers that sound too good to be true are wrapped with promises of high rates of returns.”

“The victims who invested in this scheme may never be made whole again, but hopefully they can take some solace in the FBI’s commitment to hold McClintock, and anyone else who is motivated by greed, accountable for their actions,” said J. C. Hacker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Unfortunately this case is a sad reminder to investors to be very careful where they entrust their hard earned money.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: McClintock and a co-conspirator, Diane Alexander, operated a Ponzi scheme until being shut down by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the fall of 2012. McClintock and Alexander began the scheme as early as 2003, when McClintock signed up the first investors. McClintock was portrayed as the U.S. National Director of the “Trust,” a European based entity that purportedly engaged in various banking activities. Alexander first participated as an investor, and then became McClintock’s salesperson, portrayed as a “Regional Director” (although there is no evidence of any other directors).

McClintock and Alexander ultimately raised over $20 million from approximately 220 people nationwide for loans to the Trust. They offered 38 percent annual returns and told potential investors that their funds were sent to Europe for use in a variety of banking activities that purportedly generated profits sufficient to pay the promised returns. McClintock and Alexander also offered referral fees to investors as an incentive to recruit new investors.

In reality, McClintock pooled money from investors in U.S. bank accounts and used it to pay the promised returns and referral fees. In addition, McClintock and Alexander used investor funds for their personal benefit. McClintock took approximately $1.5 million in investor funds, withdrawing $285,000 in cash and also using funds to purchase a car, gold coins, solar panels for his home, costumes for a musical show, and other personal uses, including payment of property taxes.

There was no evidence that any money went to or came back from Europe, or of any real returns or profits from any actual investment, much less in amounts necessary to meet promises made to investors. When their scheme was terminated, over 160 investors incurred losses in excess of $11 million. 

Billy Wayne McClintock, 76, of Bradenton, Florida has been sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,100,111.76.  McClintock was found guilty by a jury on January 25, 2018.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Douglas W. Gilfillan, Chief of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Section, and Assistant U.S Attorney Alex R. Sistla prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated June 28, 2018