You are here

Justice News

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

Friday, May 6, 2016

Round Rock Man Sentenced to Federal Prison in Connection with an Estimated $4.5 Million Ponzi Scheme

Losses to approximately 69 investors totaled in excess of $3.7 million

In Austin today, William Risinger, owner of RHM Exploration, LLC, was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison in connection with a estimated $4.5 Million Ponzi scheme announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge William Cotter, and Texas State Securities Board Commissioner John Morgan. 

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Sam Sparks ordered a money judgment against Risinger for $3,722,975.54 to be paid to his victims and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.

In January 2016, Risinger, age 44, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.  By pleading guilty, Risinger admitted that from November 2010 to June 2014, he stole money from investors based on three fraudulent oil, gas and mineral venture schemes.  According to court documents, Risinger used the proceeds of his scheme for his own personal use or as “lulling” payments in order to convince investors that the joint venture they invested in was operating as promised.

Risinger is in federal custody.  According to court records, Risinger, who was on bond pending sentencing in this case, was arrested on April 25, 2016, for violating terms of his bond by traveling to Las Vegas.  Testimony during today’s sentencing hearing revealed that Risinger lost an estimated $500,000 while gambling in Las Vegas between November 2015 and February 2016.

“Today's sentencing of William Risinger should sound an alarm to those looking to invest their hard-earned income,” said William Cotter, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, San Antonio Field Office. “Risinger drilled all right - right into the pockets of unsuspecting individuals who trusted him with their monies because, apparently, Risinger's favorite partnership was with local casinos.” 

This case is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Texas State Securities Board.  Assistant United States Attorney Dan Guess prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Financial Fraud
Updated May 11, 2016