Local Man Guilty in $5 Million Investment Scam
HOUSTON - A 76-year-old Montgomery man has been convicted on two counts related to an investment fraud scheme involving more than 50 victims and more than $5 million, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Allan George Cooper was president of Effective Energy Alternatives dba A.G. Cooper Associates, managing member of AG Cooper LLC and registered agent for Effective Funding Network LLC. Cooper created AG Cooper & Associates and presented himself as an investment advisor, meeting investors through a church group and through referrals from other investors. He solicited and received more than $5 million from investors, many of whom believed he was making short-term loans to small companies who could not get bank financing. He used investor funds to pay earlier investors, pay himself and his employees, and fund his lifestyle.
Cooper presented investment programs that projected more than 12% returns in a short period of time and lulled investors with misleading statements he mailed to their homes on a quarterly basis. On occasion, he would make monthly payments to investors with funds provided by new investors. Deceived by these monthly payments and fraudulent quarterly statements, investors believed their money was being properly invested, and on some occasions, would re-invest more money with Cooper.
Cooper received investor funds via wire transfers or checks handed to him in person. An analysis of his bank accounts revealed the majority of the monies were used to pay back other investors, pay his credit cards, fund his other companies and to enrich his own lifestyle.
Cooper pleaded guilty to one count each of mail and wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon accepted the plea and set sentencing for Sept. 2, 2017. At that time, Cooper faces up to 20 years in prison on each count as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
He will remain on bond pending that hearing.
The FBI conducted the investigation with assistance from the Texas State Securities Board. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady is prosecuting the case.