Youngsville Man Pleads Guilty in Ponzi Scheme
39-year-old Donnie Laing Jr. of Youngsville pleaded guilty on Monday, March 9, to running a million dollar investment fraud and Ponzi scheme in which he bilked $1,215,530.00 from investors. U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph says Laing orchestrated the scheme through his limited liability company, Capital Energy Investments, LLC ("Capital").
Court documents say he used Capital to set up a business bank account and solicit money from the victims, representing himself to be the owner of a legitimate business that bought and rented out oil and gas equipment and promising investors high rates of return on their investments. Laing then used their money for his own purposes instead of leasing the equipment out. He submitted false proposals and contracts to his victims and also used funds from new investors to make payments to previous investors under the guise that the payments represented legitimate profits and returns on the victims’ investments, allowing him to avoid detection and obtain additional funds from his victims. Laing also used his relationship with a former business associate living in northeast Louisiana to solicit money from investors.
This happened from April 2018 to November 2018.
Sentencing has been set for July 27 of this year. Laing faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of approximately $2.4 million.