A 12-year prison sentence may seem like an eternity. But when the criminal was facing 99 years, the 12-year sentence negotiated in a plea bargain is a big win for the criminal. That win belongs to Bobby Guess, a wealth manager from Frisco, Texas.
According to the Bill of Indictment, from 2014 through 2016, Guess enticed 59 people to invest $5.8 million in his company, StaMedia. Despite the fact that StaMedia had no significant earnings since its inception in 2013, and that the primary sales agent for Guess’s company, Texas First Financial, LLC, was sentenced to 12 months in jail after pleading guilty to not filing a tax return in 2012, investors trusted Guess with their money.
Even after Guess received a target of investigation letter in February of 2016, he continued soliciting funds from unsuspecting parties. According to the Bill of Indictment, he bilked nine more investors out of $800,000 following his official knowledge that he was under investigation.
In December 2016, the Texas State Securities Board issued a press release outlining Guess’s sale of notes, stock certificates and investment contracts in Dallas based StaMedia, Inc. Not surprisingly, Guess was not a registered dealer or agent authorized to sell securities in Texas since 2011. TSSB News Release
Guess was another great storyteller working a Ponzi scheme. How did Guess’s investment scam appear legitimate?
- Rate of return. Investors are always looking for a better rate of return, and Guess was promising 9 percent. Dallas Morning News, July 4, 2018 p. 5D.
- Hot investment area. All things digital were sought after as an expanding investment category with the potential for a high yield. So many investors were eager to jump on the digital band wagon.
- Puffed-up biography. Guess established himself as a financial guru through www.restoringamerica.com (now off-line), and other websites. As of this printing, his biography from April 13, 2015 can still be found on WBAP News Radio Archive. Bob Guess claimed to have 35 years of financial services experience, having taught “Dollars and Sense” on seven college campuses including SMU. He also claimed to be a keynote speaker for the City of Dallas’ employees’ retirement quarterly meetings. Guess was purportedly the author of “Robbed with a Pen Again,” “A Guide to Protecting Your Assets” and “Three Pillars of Freedom.”
- The radio show. Not only can’t you believe what you read, but you can’t believe what you hear. The “Dollars and Sense” radio show gave Guess a platform of legitimacy, as well as a way to promote himself and find additional investment fraud victims. On the other hand, who better to tell you about investments, than a swindler?
In August 2016 the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported an additional lawsuit involving Guess and StaMedia. Another person indicted for fraud, Torchia, blew the whistle on Guess over Torchia’s Credit Nation’s alleged $10 million investment in StaMedia, Inc. We’ll leave that dispute for law enforcement, commercial lawyers and judges to determine which thief is telling the truth.
While Guess’s story which includes lavish trips and extravagant cars is interesting, ultimately the 59 investors are left licking their wounds, and seeking retribution through commercial lawsuits.
Don’t Fall Prey to Another Ponzi Scheme
- Registration. Before visiting with investment professionals, discover if your sales person is registered to sell securities in the State of Texas by visiting the State of Texas’s website, Texas Registration Check.
- Sales tactics. High pressure sales and fast approaching deadlines are generally flashing warning signs. Before you find yourself in need of a breach of contract attorney, take some time to investigate the investment on the front end.
- Multiple reference points. When making an investment, make sure you speak to multiple referral sources, in addition to seeking the advice of an independent financial professional.
- Contract review. It never hurts to get the advice of a contract attorney before entering into any investment relationship.
When investing your money, take your time and do your research. We hope your due diligence pays you great dividends. And, whenever you find yourself in need of a commercial lawyer or a breach of contract attorney, we are ready to help.
Please contact us if you have any questions. We are here to help.