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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Man Who Ran $1.4 Million Ponzi Scheme from Prison Sentenced to 8 More Years

A California man who ran a $1.4 million Ponzi scheme from behind bars while serving time on another fraud conviction was sentenced Tuesday to eight additional years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.

Michael David Carroll, 46, of Long Beach CA, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to wire fraud. He was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey, who also ordered him to pay $1,346,499.90 in restitution to his victims.

“This defendant had the audacity to mount a million dollar Ponzi scheme while serving time for a prior fraud. But for a second time, his avarice caught up with him: A federal judge more than doubled his sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI are determined to hold accountable those who defraud honest investors.”

“The defendant deceived dozens of investors to preserve his complex financial scheme and fund a lavish lifestyle. Many Ponzi scheme victims do not recover their investment and are often left financially devastated,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. “The FBI will continue working with our partners to hold individuals accountable for defrauding investors and robbing them of their livelihood. We encourage the public to thoroughly research investment opportunities and to report any potential fraud to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.”

According to court documents, in September 2017, Mr. Carroll – already 36 months into a 70-month sentence for a prior fraud conviction – lied to investors about his intention to secure funding for their ventures and invest their funds into legitimate investment ventures.

He admitted that he pitched investors on bridge loans, short term loans used to buy assets or cover obligations until longer-term financing is found, promising 40 to 50 percent rates of return in just one to three months.  He claimed that each bridge loan was backed by a bank and therefore guaranteed.

He concealed the fact that he was a convicted felon, and if asked about it, claimed he had been falsely accused and had the charges dismissed.

Instead of actually investing the money, however, he set up a Ponzi scheme, secretly using new investor funds to make payments to older investors. This gave them the false impression that their “investments” were yielding profits, thereby lulling them into a false sense of security and encouraging them to make more fraudulent investments.  

He used excess money from his scheme to fund his lavish lifestyle, which included for a private jet service, luxury vehicles, high-end dining, and suites at NFL games.

He preyed on more than two dozen victims and fraudulently obtained at least $1.4 million, inducing multiple fraudulent transfers from investor accounts into accounts associated with his businesses, MCC Holdings, SLJ Holdings, and STR America Holdings.

Mr. Carroll is currently incarcerated at the federal correctional institution in Seagoville, TX.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dimitri Rocha prosecuted the case with the help of auditor Sheila Powell.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Erin Dooley Press Officer 214-659-8707 erin.dooley@usdoj.gov
Updated June 1, 2022