Two Tarrant County men were each sentenced to five years in federal prison Friday for duping investors out of more than $2.4 million over seven years.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Kurtis Keith Lowe, 63, of Fort Worth and Robert Allen Blackburn, 49, of Arlington operated a Ponzi scheme from 2004 to 2014 involving more than 21 investors whose money was never invested.
Blackburn and Lowe have both been ordered to pay more than $2.3 million in restitution and surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on Nov. 13. Lowe and Blackburn each pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Blackburn created a fake company in 2004 named Omni Capital Management Trust. Lowe deposited money from an investor into Omni’s business bank account even though both men knew it was a non-functioning company, the release said. This process was repeated several times, the release said.
To entice investors into making multiple investments, Lowe and Blackburn created more bogus companies, including Amwest Capital Management and National Fidelity Management, the release said. Lowe also opened accounts at an out-of-state mail service and established separate telephone numbers for each company, to make investors believe the bogus companies were legitimate.
When investors requested account statements or tax forms, Blackburn would advise Lowe as to how much the investor deposited and Lowe would generate forms that falsely showed the investors’ money had been invested and had appreciated.