An interagency task force has uncovered what looks like an early-stage Ponzi scheme operating in a former FBI special agent's RIA firm.
Former agent John Robert Graves of Fredericksburg, Virginia and his wife, Sara Turberville Graves, are charged with fraud and violations of the IA Act.
Specifically, investigators from the Department of Justice and the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force say Graves bilked clients out of $1.3 million.
Graves resigned from the FBI in 1999 before starting the firm in 2002. At some point in the last three years, he and his wife appear to have gotten the urge to start a Ponzi scheme.
Court filings indicate that they make false claims about the investment products on their platform -- "low risk, high return" -- and then kept the money for themselves.
They bought into a time share, paid their credit card bills, and kept some of the proceeds floating around the firm to satisfy clients who wanted their money back.
If convicted on all counts, Mr. Graves could be sentenced to up to 140 years in jail. His wife, not a registered advisor, could face a jail term up to 120 years.