Local Man Arrested in $5 Million Investment Scam
HOUSTON - A 75-year-old Houston man has been charged in a 10-count indictment alleging wire fraud and mail fraud in an investment fraud scheme involving more than 50 victims and $5 million, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Allan George Cooper was taken into custody this morning without incident and is set to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy at 2:00 p.m. today.
A federal grand jury returned the indictment under seal May 18, 2016. The indictment, unsealed today upon Cooper's arrest, charges him with four counts of wire fraud and six counts of mail fraud.
According to the indictment, Cooper defrauded more than 50 investors since 2006 in an investment fraud scheme which took in at least $5 million of investor funds. His scheme involved convincing investors to invest their funds in his alleged investment programs via AG Cooper & Associates, according to the indictment. He allegedly offered investors a low-risk/high-return in investments such as short-term loans, gaming investments, interim construction loans and mortgage-backed notes.
The indictment alleges that on many occasions, investors would wire their funds from their personal account directly into Cooper's commercial banking account or would mail or hand deliver their investment checks to Cooper personally. Investors that were using their retirement funds would wire the funds via an intermediary, self-directed IRA custodian to Cooper's commercial bank account, according to the allegations.
Cooper allegedly prepared quarterly statements he mailed to the investors, making them believe their funds were being utilized in legitimate programs and were earning more than 11 percent in returns. The statements contained false and misleading representations concerning the value and performance of AG Cooper & Associates investment programs and returns, according to the indictment. Instead of investing the funds as promised, Cooper allegedly appropriated the money for his own use, including paying his personal expenses, paying employees, paying his credit card bills, paying other investors and transferring funds to other companies controlled by Cooper.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine on each charge.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI with assistance from the Texas State Securities Board. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.