Frisco wealth manager who hosted 'Dollars & Sense' arrested on fraud, money laundering charges

Bobby Eugene GuessA well-known Frisco wealth manager who hosted a radio show called Dollars & Sense was arrested and booked into Collin County jail on Monday on charges of more than $6 million worth of fraud, money laundering, theft and engaging in organized criminal activity.

In court documents, Texas State Securities Board authorities allege that Bobby Eugene Guess, 65, was selling investments without being a registered securities dealer.

Guess, who authorities say lured retirees and others to his firm's investment forums with fraudulent promises of 9 percent annualized returns, was indicted by a Collin County grand jury on Thursday.

Guess' firm, Texas First Financial, has widely advertised its services on local radio stations, including ESPN Dallas (103.3 FM) and WBAP (820 AM).

The criminal charges stem from an investigation by the TSSB and the U.S. Secret Service, which found that Guess' firm was peddling investments in companies including advertising firm Stamedia Inc. — a company whose leaders took millions of investor money to fund an "extravagant lifestyle" for themselves and relatives, an affidavit said.

Among the principals' expenses were "extensive travel to Cabo San Lucas, Vail (Colorado), Disney World, a Montana hunting lodge" and "multiple luxury vehicles, including Land Rovers, Mercedes, Ferraris and Lamborghinis."

According to the document, the new investments Guess sold in one company were apparently used to pay off investors who had been sold investments in another, "the very definition of  a Ponzi scheme."

Records also showed that investors bought securities from Guess in Frisco-based North-Forty Development LLC and were promised returns backed by the deeds of trust for the properties the company developed.

But instead, up to $1.4 million went to the federal tax lien, which had been levied against a North-Forty principal.

The TSSB reported this isn't the first time Guess has been involved in selling unregistered securities. In 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Georgia-based Credit Nation, where Guess was an owner and vice president, for allegedly running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme in life settlement contracts. A federal judge later placed Credit Nation in receivership.

On Aug. 15, TSSB officials issued an emergency administrative order barring Guess from continuing to sell investments.

At the time, they said, he was unlicensed and should have disclosed to investors that on Aug. 4, investigators had executed a search warrant at his office.  

Guess, in a document asking authorities to rescind the administrative order and the search warrant, wrote that he wasn't given the chance to respond before the search warrant was executed.

He also contended that he was unfairly denied the opportunity to dispute allegations of wrongdoing before the TSSB issued its emergency order.

In the document, Guess cited "Mosaic law" as a foundation for "Commercial Law," which he wrote "forms the underpinnings of Western Civilization."

Guess signed the affidavit as the "affiant/real natural man," though it is unclear why.

Meanwhile, investigators continued to build the criminal case.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Guess was being held in Collin County jail on $500,000 bond, according to the jail's website.  If convicted, he faces a maximum of 99 years in prison, a TSSB spokesman said.

The agency's enforcement attorneys will act as special prosecutors in the case, which is common in similar situations, the spokesman, Robert Elder, said Tuesday.


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