Lawyers do it. Stockbrokers do it. And apparently so do former FBI agents. What are we talking about? Stealing!
The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and the Alabama Securities Commission prosecuted Cary Alan Burdette of Trussville, Alabama for securities fraud. They claim Burdette, a former FBI agent, defrauded many investors out of approximately $4 million.
How did Burdette pull off his scam? Apparently by promising investors 8 to 12% annual returns. Officials say he sold promissory notes to investors and promised to use the money to invest in real estate and medical technology businesses. Instead, court records reveal that Burdette used the money to pay off earlier investors – a classic sign of a Ponzi scheme – and to pay himself. Like most of these scams, the fraud was quickly uncovered when there was no longer enough new money to pay off the old investors.
What is unusual about this case is that Burdette is a former FBI agent. (He was also a lawyer.) Whether this was a factor in people’s mind when making their investment is not known. We suspect, however, that many victims received a false sense of security knowing that they were investing with a former fed and lawyer.
Criminals come in all shapes and sizes. Former judges, pastors and even FBI agents can be criminals. Anyone investing with Burdette would have been able to see that he had been sued many, many times by investors who were not paid. Unfortunately, many people never perform any type of due diligence.
Also unusual about this case is that it was prosecuted by a local prosecutor. Most agencies don’t have the capability of handling white-collar investigations. That a local DA’s office prosecuted Burdette is impressive. As more and more frauds are uncovered, we expect to see more local agencies develop the expertise to investigate these cases.
Burdette received a 20 year sentence. He must initially serve 5 years.
Getting money back from a investment fraud is always more difficult than stopping one before it happens. It’s never too early to ask a forensic accountant or fraud lawyer to help you evaluate an investment. If you are the victim of fraud, the sooner you bring action, the better your chances of recovery.
Unless the fraudster is working for a large brokerage firm or a company with deep pockets, the ability to recover money diminishes quickly over time. Prosecutors and cops usually look for convictions and prison time. That might give victims some satisfaction but it doesn’t put cash in their wallets. The earlier an asset recovery lawyer can take action, the better the chance of freezing assets and ultimately getting paid.
If you are the victim of any type of investment fraud, call us. Our fraud lawyers have helped people across the United States get back their hard earned money. Often cases can be handled on a hybrid or contingent (“success”) basis. Want more information? Start with our investment fraud recovery information page.
Think you have a case? Contact attorney Brian Mahany online, by email or by phone at 202.800.9791. Cases handled nationwide. We only consider cases where the out-of-pocket loss exceeds $1 million ($100,000 if the wrongdoer was a stockbroker or licensed professional). All inquiries are kept strictly confidential.