Brion Randall Won't Be Stealing Locals' Hard-Earned Millions For the Next 15 Years
Based upon the handful of comments that just popped up on this 4-month-old Unfair Park item , some of his victims already know and have been celebrating the news: Brion Randall -- the Plano man who, from 2004 through '09, screwed some 30 folks out of around $6 million -- is going to federal prison for 15 years, per the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor, who also tacked on three years of supervised released. Randall's headed to prison at this very moment. And that, as they say, is that. Except for this pending headache before the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For those who don't recall, and why would you, Randall pleaded guilty in May to a whole bunch of bad stuff, most of which involved getting people to invest in some "short-term loan participation programs" and other projects that didn't exist. As in: He would tell people he was working on something for SMU or the Bush Library or Cowboys Stadium, ask 'em for money to finish the work -- and then disappear with the dough. And those shenanigans followed his tenure at Merrill Lynch in '02, which The Wall Street Journal documented and then some following allegations that he screwed with clients' accounts. Jump for more. Don't cost nothin'.
FORMER INVESTMENT ADVISOR SENTENCED IN INVESTMENT FRAUD CASE
Brion Gary Randall Defrauded 30 Local Investors and Caused More than $6 Million in Losses
DALLAS - Brion Gary Randall, 48, of Plano, Texas, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor to 15 years in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. He was ordered into custody to begin serving his sentence immediately after the sentencing hearing. In May 2010, Randall pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of bank fraud.
According to documents filed in the case, Randall worked as an investment advisor from 2004 through July 2009. During part of that time, he operated, and owned in part, 2Randall Consulting Group, LLP and also owned part of Titan Home Theater, LLC, which designed and installed commercial and residential audio/visual systems. According to a complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against Randall and 2Randall in August 2009, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) suspended and fined Randall for improperly exercising discretion in customer accounts without prior written permission. That case is currently pending.
From 2004 through July 2009, Randall raised more than $6 million from 30 investors through a scheme in which he caused persons to invest in a number of short-term loan participation programs, which in fact, did not exist. He used investors' funds for his own benefit and not for purposes he represented.
For example, Randall represented that he was pooling money in accounts at Chase Bank and AllianceBernstein for investment in a variety of short-term loan participation programs. Randall represented that an investor's money in 2Randall Consulting's account at Alliance and Chase was held in a non-taxable escrow account and fully liquid, with the investor able to withdraw his money at any time. He represented that the 2Randall consulting account at AllianceBernstein had a balance ranging from $25 million to $29 million, and that he had also invested millions of dollars of his own money into the accounts.
In reality, however, the Chase Bank and AllianceBernstein accounts were nonexistent. To further the scheme, Randall created and distributed fraudulent documents to investors, including bogus Chase Bank and AllianceBernstein account statements. He also created bogus 2Randall Consulting accounting statements and portfolio summaries. In meetings with some investors, he would display a false and fictitious computer screen shot of either the Chase Bank or AllianceBernstein account which would show the investor's money on deposit.
Randall also represented to investors that they could invest in short-term loan participations, usually lasting 45 to 90 days and returning a high rate of interest. He sold loan participation programs in 1) Small Business Administration (SBA) loans; 2) Titan Home Theater project completion loans; and 3) loans to acquire real estate in Galveston, Texas.
For the SBA loans, Randall falsely represented to investors that they could participate with 2Randall Consulting in a short-term loan to a local company seeking an SBA loan. Randall represented that the short-term loan would provide sufficient capital to enable the company to obtain the loan at a discounted rate, and once the SBA loan closed, the company would return to 2Randall Consulting and the participating investors the principal plus 10 percent. He represented that the companies receiving the loans were reputable local businesses, including 84 Lumber, General Packaging Corporation, PerotSystems Vent-A-Hood and Richardson Bike Mart, businesses where Randall's father had an established relationship. Randall represented that participating in an SBA loan participation program was low risk and that an investor could only lose his money if the company declared bankruptcy during the 45-90 day term of the loan. Randall knew that no such SBA loan participation agreements existed.
With regard to the Titan Home Theater project completion loans, Randall represented that investors could participate in short-term loans to Titan enabling it to complete a number of commercial projects, and that upon completion of the projects, Titan would return the principal plus up to a 22% return. Randall falsely represented that Titan was a subcontractor on several commercial projects including projects at Southern Methodist University, the Bush Library and the Dallas Cowboys stadium.
Randall also represented to investors that they could participate in short-term loans enabling him to finalize the acquisition and sale of real estate in Galveston. Randall promised that on closing, he would return the investor's principal plus a sizeable rate of interest.
As a further part of his fraud, Randall obtained loans from financial institutions by submitting forged signatures and false and fraudulent documents. The plea documents note that Randall obtained five loans, from Bank of America, Texas Capital Bank and Wells Fargo, that all defaulted, causing a total loss to these financial institutions of nearly $875,000.
This case is part of President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF). President Obama established the interagency FFETF to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Stokes is in charge of the prosecution.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.