Anchorage man criminally charged by US Attorney for wire fraud scheme in alleged Tycoon Trading scam
Alaska had previously targeted man with a civil cease and desist order
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -The United States Attorney’s office in Alaska has joined the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities in going after an Anchorage man accused of running a Ponzi-style scam.
According to an information — which is similar to an indictment in white-collar cases — Garrett Elder, the owner of Tycoon Trading, The Daily Bread Fund, LLC and other related entities committed wire fraud that resulted in over 130 investors losing approximately $25 million.
A cease and desist order last fall from the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities shut down Tycoon Trading and began a process of trying to locate victims and determine how much money had been lost.
The federal charges filed on Monday allege that Elder’s companies took in more than $30 million from investors and that Elder lost the vast majority of the money through bad investments. But he allegedly falsified statements for his investors and claimed large profits. That led to increased investments and new customers. Banking officials told Alaska’s News Source this type of scheme is known as an “affinity scam” and involves friends and associates who encourage other friends to invest.
The federal charges allege Elder began the scheme in 2016 with $10,000 to $20,000 of his parents’ money and that he invested the money in securities and foreign currencies. The information alleges he lost that money, but then found more investors. He informed those investors that they were making money despite more losses.
Elder continued to lure new investors all the way up until 2022. The information alleges that Elder sent fraudulent statements to investors the entire time indicating their investments were profitable. He also allegedly used some of the investment money to buy himself real estate, a boat, vehicles, a camper, bicycles and jewelry.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning and has been appointed a public defender. Elder faces a maximum 20-year prison term and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
The FBI is asking that anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of Elder or Tycoon Trading to contact them at 907-276-4441.
The Alaska Division of Banking and Securities asks anyone who is considering investing with an individual or an investment company to check the website brokercheck.finra.org to make sure the entities are registered. Elder was never properly registered, according to the division.
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