Suburban Chicago businessman charged in alleged Ponzi scheme

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2020 | Federal Crimes |

If you drive about an hour southwest of Chicago, you will arrive in the Village of Minooka. A businessman there is facing a federal wire fraud charge. Prosecutors accuse the 49-year-old owner of The Income Store of operating a Ponzi scheme.

They allege that his scheme took in $75 million from hundreds of investors.

Federal prosecutors claim Kenneth Courtright ran The Income Store from his suburban home, raising millions of dollars by promising investors yearly returns of up to 20 percent if they gave him a six-figure “upfront fee” for building and operating websites.

The federal complaint claims that the returns early investors received were mainly funded with money he received from later investors. Prosecutors say it’s a classic Ponzi scheme and that as such, was “unsustainable.”

In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission froze Courtright’s assets and filed a civil complaint alleging securities fraud.

Officials allege that his scheme began three years ago when he began to market The Income Store as a website investment in online and radio advertisements. Investors then paid him $100,000 or more to be used to purchase, build, host and market websites with annual returns guaranteed to range from 13 percent to 20 percent.

However, investigators said in the criminal complaint that revenues were insufficient to pay the promised returns. Though the websites generated approximately $9 million dollars in revenue, The Income Store paid $31 million to investors in guaranteed payouts.

The gap of about $20 million in revenues and payouts to investors “was primarily funded, in classic Ponzi scheme fashion, through the offer and sale of (agreements) to new or repeat investors,” prosecutors stated in court documents.

If convicted of the single count of wire fraud, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

If you have been accused of participating in a so-called Ponzi scheme, or fraud of any kind (such as mail fraud, wire fraud, or health care fraud) contact attorney Darryl A. Goldberg because experience matters.

When it feels like your world is caving in on you and you don’t know where to turn, call attorney Darryl A. Goldberg. He is a seasoned trial attorney who gets results and will fight for you when you need it most, even if it seems like the government had overwhelming evidence of your guilt.

Darryl A. Goldberg has a track record of greatly minimizing the damage in white-collar criminal cases; review some of his representative cases, such as a one where the government alleged in FBI and United States Attorney’s Office press releases that his client orchestrated a $35 million dollar fraud. In that case, Mr. Goldberg picked apart the evidence until the government agreed that a loss of $1.8 million was appropriate and his client went from potential decades in prison, to ultimately serving less than a year behind bars.

Hiring the right attorney could be the most important decision of your life; contact Darryl A. Goldberg and   The Law Offices of Darryl A. Goldberg at 773-793-3196 for more information or to schedule a consultation.


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