Federal authorities have ordered a Frisco mortgage lender to stop running what they call a fraudulent scheme that funneled investors’ money to several people he shouldn’t have — including $1.4 million to a man who claimed to be a booking agent for singers Drake and Taylor Swift.
Thurman Bryant III raised roughly $22.7 million since 2011 through his Katy-based company, Bryant United Capital Funding, by lying to roughly 100 investors in Texas and other states, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint filed May 15.
Bryant is accused of promising investors 30 percent returns per year on investments he told them he’d make in secure mortgage-related accounts.
Instead, the complaint alleges, he spent $4.8 million on personal expenses for himself and his family, including $18,000 in rent for a house in Frisco, $3,500 for luxury and other cars, a housekeeper and $1,000 for horseback riding every month.
Between January and March, the complaint says, Bryant paid Carlos Goodspeed, the purported booking agent, $1.37 million, allegedly to promote concerts by Swift and Drake.
But Goodspeed, the SEC says, has a lengthy legal history himself: In 2011 and 2014, he was found liable for fraud and breach of contract in connection with contracts to promote or secure events featuring Drake, Ciara and Jay-Z.
Bryant also made payments to other investors, essentially turning the operation into a Ponzi scheme, according to the SEC.
Bryant never told his investors where their money was going, the SEC says.
Goodspeed and Arthur Wammel of the Wammel Group also are named as relief defendants in the complaint.
The SEC is asking the court to permanently bar Bryant from continuing to operate similar schemes and force him to pay back investors, in addition to civil fines.
U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant of Texas’ Eastern District appointed a receiver — someone to help sort through all the money and assets involved — and granted the SEC’s request for a temporary restraining order and asset freeze, according to a news release.
[Copyright By Jill Cowan]