In 2009, Bobby Vise began recruiting residents to invest in real estate.
Vise, who was an instructor at Purvis Real Estate Training Institute, got 12 people to invest $1.2 million.
But he never invested the money in real estate, prosecutors say. Instead, Vise used it for personal benefits such as a Mercedes and making cash withdrawals.
On Monday, Vise pleaded guilty to theft of property over $200,000 for bilking the victims out of their money and was sentenced in state district court to 13 years in prison.
“White collar crimes strike at more than the victims’ finances,” Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson said in a news release after the plea. “They’re a traumatic breach of trust from which it can take years to recover, both financially and psychologically.”
Vise was extradited from Kentucky and taken into custody Monday morning after his plea. He also was ordered to pay $1,272.412.54 in restitution.
Prosecutors believe Vise began the Ponzi scheme in August 2009 and continued until October 2012. As an instructor at Purvis Real Estate Training Institute in Fort Worth, he convinced a dozen people he had had past success in real estate.
He promised high returns on money he was going to invest in property.
“This is yet another example of how white collar crime will not be tolerated in Tarrant County,” Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Matt Smid, chief of the white collar crime unit, said in the news release.