DENVER -- The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced that, on October 22, 2008, the Colorado District Court sentenced Robert Ray White Samples ("Samples") of Parker, Colorado, to 10 years incarceration for operating two fraudulent investment schemes that raised more than $1 million from investors, including senior citizens. In August 2008, Samples plead guilty to two counts of securities fraud in the criminal action brought against him by the Colorado Attorney General’s securities fraud unit. In addition to the term of incarceration, Samples was ordered to pay restitution of $1.3 million. According to the grand jury indictment, Samples made untrue statements of material fact about how he would invest and otherwise use the investors’ money, and diverted investor funds for his personal use.
The criminal action followed the Commission's investigation and civil case against Samples, in which the Commission charged Samples with misappropriating investor funds through the same two fraudulent investment schemes. According to the Commission’s complaint, from at least September 2002 through September 2006, Samples, operating through his company, Pot O’ Gold Financial Services, LLC ("POG"), used material misrepresentations to raise at least $1,033,597 from 31 investors, including seniors, in two pooled investments (the "civil action"). On October 11, 2007, the Court in the civil action entered an order, by consent, granting a preliminary injunction against Samples and POG for violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act, and freezing their assets and ordering an accounting. On December 11, an order was entered in the civil action by consent against Samples permanently enjoining him from future violations of the same provisions of the federal securities laws. Further, on December 27, the Commission issued an order, by consent, barring Samples from association with any broker-dealer and investment adviser based on the entry of the permanent injunction.