A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty Tuesday for his participation in a $3.2 million scheme to fraudulently obtain money from victims seeking business loans.
Ronald Gene Morgan, 62, was indicted on Oct. 8, 2014. He faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 23.
According to the plea agreement, from March 2009 to April 2011, Morgan, along with others, operated Argent Asset Management and Argent Securities, an Illinois-incorporated company and a Florida-incorporated company, respectively. Morgan admitted that he falsely promised victims in Las Vegas and elsewhere that he would provide business loans by using Argent assets to acquire bank-issued bonds at a discount and re-sell the bonds at face value to an investor, thereby producing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Morgan admitted he lulled the victims by creating and sending false communications and documents depicting escrow account balances containing millions of dollars held on behalf of the clients. He knew that no such funds were held in escrow. He required victims to pay substantial fees in advance of obtaining the loans and told the victims that their funds would be held in escrow, would be refunded if the loans were not obtained, and would be used to obtain the loans.
He knew that Argent Securities had no assets. Morgan used the fees paid by victims for his own personal use and to recruit other victims, and to repay portions of other victims fees in order to conceal the scheme. Morgan admitted the fraudulent scheme caused victims to lose about $3.23 million. He admitted that he is responsible for more than $550,000 and less than $1.5 million in loss.
The case is being investigated by the FBI.