Garry Bradford, 62, Sacramento, California, pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud for operating an investment-club Ponzi scheme.
According to court documents, Bradford was the president of Millenium (sic) Capital Group, one of several related “investment clubs” that were operating from 2003 to 2008 in the Sacramento area. Bradford admitted that his investment club alone took in $2.2 million from people who expected, based on what Bradford had told them, that their money would be invested in buying land and building structures for real estate investment. Victims refinanced their houses and changed their retirement accounts to invest with Bradford. Bradford admitted that even after he realized his family of investment clubs was not making money, he continued to recruit investors to his own club. Bradford used later investor money to pay bogus “returns” to earlier investors.
Bradford is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell, Jr. on April 6, 2012. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison for each count and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case is the product of an extensive and ongoing investigation by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew D. Segal is prosecuting the case.
United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced the guilty plea.