Skip to main content
Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011 10 years ago

Risher pleads guilty to fraud

Davis “Jay” Risher defrauded 106 unique investors of $21 million.

TAMPA — Davis “Jay” Risher pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering this week, in connection with a Ponzi scheme that affected 106 investors and involved $21 million, according to U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill's office.

A convicted defrauder and money launderer, Risher set up residences in Sarasota and Lee counties before persuading victims to invest more than $21 million in what he called the “Preservation of Principal Fund.”

From that total, Risher withdrew $12.4 million to buy property, jewelry, art and motor vehicles, the report says. Roughly $4.1 million was used to compensate an insurance agent who assisted Risher in his fraud scheme, and Risher lost another $760,000 through various securities trading activity.

Risher distributed $3.8 million of the invested funds back to his clients as a false indication of achieved returns.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Risher faces a maximum penalty of up to 50 years in federal prison as a result of his plea.

Related Stories