Bryan Anderson, a former broker from Hoover, Alabama, was sentenced yesterday to seven years and three months in federal prison after pleading guilty to operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of over $3 million. U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Hopkins also ordered Anderson to pay restitution of $3,068,614 plus interest to his victims. He will also serve three years on probation and was ordered to participate in an alcohol treatment program.
Anderson pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud in March and will report to prison on October 19.
In making her determination on the length of Anderson’s sentence, Hopkins considered the length of time the scheme occurred, stating, “He had many opportunities to stop, but he continued down [that path].”
The U.S. Attorney’s office was pleased with Hopkins’ sentence. “Brian Anderson ran a Ponzi scheme for years, lying about investment options, risks and potential returns to lure unwitting investors into his snare,” U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance stated in a press release after the sentencing. “Those investors trusted Anderson, and when his Ponzi scheme inevitably crashed down, they lost millions. I am proud of the collaboration among the FBI, Alabama Securities Commission, Hoover Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office that, today, brings Anderson to punishment for his crimes,” she said.
Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission, believes the sentence will serve as a deterrent to others. “People will certainly take notice of this type of sentence before engaging in this type of fraud,” he said.
Richard Frankowski, attorney for the victims in their civil claims against Anderson, noted that the investors ranged from thirty-six to ninety-three years old, and many of them had invested their life savings with Anderson. He further noted that many of the investors were financially devastated by Anderson’s activities.
From January 2009 to January 2014, Anderson’s false representations and promises caused about eighteen individual and family investors to give him more more than $8.4 million, which he deposited into an account he held with his wife at BancorpSouth, according to court documents.
The scheme collapsed in May 2014, and about twelve investors lost almost $3.1 million. One investor lost almost $1.1 million by himself.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.