Swindler Sentenced to Federal Prison for $6.8M Securities Fraud Scheme
AUSTIN – A federal judge sentenced 45-year-old Christopher Matthew Meredith of Shawnee, Kansas to 14 years in federal prison today for his scheme to defraud investors of more than $6.8 million.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ordered Meredith to pay $6,820,510.50 in restitution and to be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term. Following today’s hearing, Judge Pitman remanded Meredith to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his prison term.
“This con artist targeted dozens of retirees and other investors who resided in the Brenham area as well as other parts of Texas and the country. He obtained millions of dollars through blatant lies and then funded his lifestyle with their money,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley Hoff. “I commend the prosecutors and our partners from the FBI and the Texas State Securities Board for bringing Meredith to justice and providing his victims with a measure of closure.”
On January 8, 2020, Meredith pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud. According to court documents, Meredith solicited investors for his company, Strategic Pharma, Inc. (SPI), under false pretenses from January 2015 to March 2017. Meredith told investors that SPI had agreements, business operations, money and assets, knowing this was false. For example, Meredith intentionally told investors that SPI had entered into agreements with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Biopharma Services, Inc. that would result in substantial revenue for SPI. Meredith created a counterfeit VA contract and showed it to investors to prop up his lie. Meredith also failed to disclose to his investors that he was under investigation for a similar investment fraud scheme in Florida where he eventually pleaded guilty to felony grand theft. Meredith persuaded investors to give him money in return for shares of SPI stock. Then he used investor funds for his own personal benefit, including the purchase of a home, and for the benefit of his relatives and associates.
“As a result of the relentless investigative efforts of the FBI San Antonio, Austin White Collar Task Force and the Texas State Securities Board, Meredith will no longer swindle members of our community out of their hard-earned dollars,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Division. “Over 100 investors were identified as victims in this case, many of whom lost their retirement savings. We hope they find some solace in seeing Meredith brought to justice and held accountable for his pattern of willful deceit."
“The State Securities Board is pleased with today’s sentencing. The gravity of financial crime and its impact on our investors was well reflected with the imposition of a fourteen-year sentence for Mr. Meredith,” said Texas State Securities Board Commissioner Travis J. Iles. “Texas investors saw justice today. The good work of the Western District’s U.S. Attorney's Office, the FBI, and our investigator made the result possible.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alan M. Buie, Daniel Castillo and Robert Almonte prosecuted this case.