Garfield M. Taylor, 55, of Rockville, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud in connection to a $25 million Ponzi scheme that spanned from 2006 to 2010. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Taylor could face a sentence ranging from 12 years and seven months to 15 years and 8 months in prison. As part of the plea agreement, Taylor must also pay restitution to the victims and fines totally nearly $175,000.
According to evidence, Taylor convinced the victims of his scheme to invest with him by promising substantial returns on their investment. Taylor told investors that he used a sophisticated securities trading strategy that protected against losses and claimed he had a proven track record of using this strategy effectively. However, he never used this investing strategy and either lost money, or made minimal profits far below what was needed to pay the amounts he owed.
Federal court records show a list of 10 investors who collectively lost $25.1 million in the scheme. Included in the list of victims was a family who sought to generate enough money to send an autistic child to private school.
United States District Court Judge Richard W. Roberts scheduled Taylor’s sentencing hearing for July 15, 2014.
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office and the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking handed the investigation this case.