People gave their life savings to two men they hoped they could double-cross. However, investigators said the money was for a Ponzi scheme and they may not get it back.
Channel 9’s Ken Lemon learned on Thursday that the owners of D&T Investment in Kings Mountain are expected to agree to a plea deal. They are accused of taking millions from investors and spending them on themselves.
The people who trusted them fear they won’t get a single dollar back, and they’re not happy about it.
Lawyers who work on cases like this have told Lemon that it probably won’t happen even if it’s ordered by the court. Once owners have served their sentence, the court can offer them a payment plan, but lawyers said convicted felons may not earn much and also have the grace to pay their own bills.
According to court documents, Austin Page and Brandon Teague will be back in federal court next week to plead guilty to mail fraud and securities fraud. The last time they appeared in court was in January.
“What do they pay them with? Do they use the money they took? said Stephen Di Tillio, who is frustrated because he invested everything he had.
According to federal documents, D&T Investment took $4.2 million from more than 300 people. These investors lost $3.8 million because the company invested very little.
Debbie Hicks was one of the investors and said the company told her her money was doubling.
“I showed good faith and gave them money that we couldn’t really afford,” Hicks said.
According to court documents, the money went to expensive clothes, jewelry, expensive trips and car rentals. The operators even gave bonuses to employees who got the company logo tattooed on their bodies.
“It’s still a slap in the face,” Hicks said.
The plea deal said the men would pay restitution, but attorneys Lemon spoke to said that many times the investors wouldn’t get their money back.
Page faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for wire fraud. Teague faces a maximum of 5 years for securities fraud.
Meanwhile, investors said they lost their life savings.
“They never should have put us in this position,” Hicks said. “I wonder where the justice is?”
Di Tillio said he had always struggled with money and investing was his chance to turn the tide. Instead, he said he had lost confidence, something that cannot be repaid.
“They clearly messed it up. Who do you turn to? Who are you looking to say I can trust you now? ” he said.
Di Tillio said he didn’t think he would invest the money again.
(WATCH BELOW: A pair accused of running a Ponzi scheme with an investment firm make their first court appearance)