A federal jury on Monday convicted a Rockwall, Texas man of securities fraud arising from an investment scheme he ran, according to U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Mark Lee Cleaton was found guilty on four counts of wire fraud and is facing a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
United States District Judge Jane Boyle remanded Cleaton into the custody of U.S. marshals pending sentencing on February 4, 2016.
Cleaton, according to court documents, was the managing member of North American Capital LLC., which was located in Dallas.
Cleaton also created a limited partnership, North American Capital Investment Fund, LP (“NACIF”) in August 2009.
From August 2009 to July 2010, Cleaton solicited $350,000 in investments for NACIF from several people.
He promised to invest that money in short-term, high-yield, real estate projects. In reality, though, he used the money for himself.
Cleaton provided false investment memoranda and marketing materials to potential investors. Some of the material misrepresented an audited seven-year performance history, despite the fact NACIF had not existed for seven years nor had a rate of return.
Cleaton told his investors to wire money into a checking account over which he had sole signatory authority.
Cleaton had been locked out of his office in Dallas for non-payment of two month’s rent by the time he had received the first investor’s money.
Cleaton immediately spent investors’ money within weeks on personal expenses and unrelated business ventures, including credit card bills, trips to Hawaii, cash withdrawals, a used car business and a high-end audio/stereo store.
He also purposely failed to tell subsequent investors that he had already raised and spent prior investors’ money.
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.