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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

San Antonio Father and Son Arrested for Alleged Ponzi Scheme

Federal authorities have arrested a father and son charged in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme which defrauded investors of over $800,000, announced U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

A five-count federal grand jury indictment charges 76-year-old Earl Roberts, Sr., and 50-year-old Larry Roberts with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and two counts of mail fraud. 

According to court records, Earl Roberts, Sr., was the president and owner, and Larry Roberts was the Chief Operating Officer of FACTAC, Inc., a company engaged in the business of “factoring” invoices and receivables from other companies.  “Factoring” is a business process whereby a company purchases invoices and accounts receivable from other companies at a discount.  The purchasing company then makes a profit when the invoices and receivables are paid at full value at a later time.

The indictment alleges that the defendants ceased factoring operations in December 2016, but continued to solicit investor funds until February 2018.  Investors were told that their money would only be used to factor receivables when in fact the defendants used investor funds to pay withdrawals and interest payments to previous investors.  The defendants also transferred parts of the investor funds to other companies under their control and used the funds to pay for their own personal expenses, fraudulently enriching themselves.

Agents arrested the two San Antonio residents yesterday without incident.  Both have been released on bond.  Arraignment is scheduled for December 7, 2020 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry J. Bemporad in San Antonio.  Upon conviction, each related charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

The FBI is conducting this investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Chung and William R. Harris are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated December 1, 2020