Lafayette Businessman Pleads Guilty to Charge in Scheme That Cost Investors Millions
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 06, 2013|
LAFAYETTE, LA—United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Herbert S. “Steve” Fouke, 54, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud involving an investment scheme that cost clients $8 million.
According to documents filed at the guilty plea, Fouke became a client of Lafayette resident Richard Buswell in 2006. Buswell worked as a licensed stockbroker from 2006 until 2009 for Bowman Investment Group LLC, which was also Buswell’s company.
Fouke admitted to recruiting friends and business associates to become clients of Buswell and the Bowman Investment Group. Fouke also admitted to being present at meetings between Buswell and his clients, during which Buswell made false statements to the clients about his credentials, the commissions he would charge, and the rates of return that he guaranteed the clients would receive. Buswell admitted in a guilty plea July 24, 2013, to engaging in frequent and excessive stock trades in order to earn commissions.
Fouke faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution for the conspiracy count. Buswell faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution for a wire fraud count. Sentencing dates have not been set.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly P. Uebinger and Howard C. Parker are prosecuting the case.