SEC uncovers $22 million Ponzi scheme

February 17, 2012 | Last updated on February 17, 2012
1 min read

In December, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission apprehended James Davis Risher, a self-proclaimed experienced equity trader, for operating a $22 million Ponzi scheme.

From 2007 through 2010, Risher was the sole trader for a purported private equity fund operating under various names including the Safe Harbor Private Equity Fund and Preservation of Principal Fund. And despite the recession, he told clients he was earning returns ranging from 14% to 124%.

Read: Beware of Investor Traps: Regulators

Having ripped off more than 100 teachers and retirees, Risher was sentenced to 19 years and had to forfeit items traceable to proceeds of the offenses. He was also ordered to pay $12.4 million.

Read Bill Singer’s comments on Risher’s criminal history and how investors need to do their homework.