Former CEO guilty in 'Ponzi' scheme

Financial Crisis Posted on

The former CEO of an Austin-based investment firm was found guilty on Wednesday on federal charges that he schemed and defrauded investors out of millions of dollars.

Triton Financial CEO Kurt Branham Barton was named in a 39-count indictment alleging he used former NFL stars and church contacts to raise $50 million fraudulently from investors.

The counts against Kurt Branham Barton included money laundering, wire fraud and securities fraud. He is accused of using the money raised from investors "to support an expanding Ponzi scheme" and to enrich himself and the chief financial officer of his Triton Financial firm.

“It is regrettable that selfish, greedy individuals devise schemes to make themselves rich by victimizing honest and innocent people, often depriving the victims of their life savings," U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy said. "These con artists are usually very accomplished salesmen taking advantage of trusting investors, who unfortunately will never be made whole again."

Evidence presented during the eight-day trial showed that from December 2005 and December 2009, Barton devised a scheme to obtain money from investors under false pretenses.

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