A federal jury found broker William J. Ferry (Newport Beach) and Dennis Clinton (San Diego) guilty of conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud after promoting a high-yield investment scheme, promising unrealistically high rates of return while attempting to dupe unknowing investors into handing over their life savings.
During an investigation in which FBI agents posed as investors in an undercover operation, prosecutors discovered that Ferry, Clinton, and others perpetrated their fraudulent scheme in 2006, convincing investors that a fake high-yield investment program that was supposedly associated with humanitarian relief for Hurricane Katrina victims would produce record-high returns at minimal risk to principal.
A FINRA BrokerCheck for William Joseph Ferry, not presently associated with any FINRA member firms, though employed by Newport First Investment Services, reveals one previous regulatory disclosure, a $5,000 monetary fine, censure and Order of Offer of Settlement following the Securities and Exchange Commission's finding that Ferry exaggerated the amount of money an adviser he owned possessed, claiming $160 million under management when the actual amount was less than $7 million, and that Ferry had failed to disclose a personal bankruptcy, published misleading advertising material and failed to maintain required records.
Ferry, Clinton and Martin each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each fraud count. Previously convicted parties to the fraudulent scheme include California resident Brad Keith Lee (pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy, sentenced to 24 months in prison on Jan. 11, 2010) and Oregon's John Brent Leiske (pleaded guilty, sentencing scheduled for Sept. 19, 2012). Meanwhile, Florida's Ronald J. Nolte was acquitted of all charges while the government dismissed all charges against Iowa's Richard Arthur Pundt.
Canadian citizen Alex Chelak, who was also indicted, remains a fugitive.
If you invested with Ferry, Clinton or with any broker, advisor or firm whose promises and investment activity has been harmful to your interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.