Robert Roland Langguth Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors in a Ponzi-Style Bridge Loan Participating Scheme and to Money Laundering
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 20, 2012|
United States Attorney Robert Pitman announced that in Austin this morning, 71-year-old Robert Roland Langguth, of Corpus Christi, Texas, pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in connection with a Ponzi-style scheme that victimized more than a hundred individuals and resulted in a total estimated loss to investors of over $7 million. Langguth pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
In pleading guilty, Langguth admitted that from November 2005 to December 2009, he devised a scheme to obtain money from investors under false pretenses. Langguth admitted he falsely represented to investors that they were buying a participation in a real estate bridge loan, evidenced by a note, secured, in most cases, by a first lien on real property. In exchange for their investment, Langguth promised investors that he would pass through their share of the monthly interest payments made by borrowers on the bridge loan. He also promised that when the borrower paid off the bridge loan, the balance of the investment would be returned to the investor. In the course of the scheme, Langguth used multiple business entities, including Capital Finance, Paris Properties, and Paris RE Inc. Langguth admitted the purpose of his scheme was to acquire investors’ money to enrich himself and to support his expanding scheme. Additionally, Langguth admitted on July 17, 2008, that he knowingly engaged in laundering criminally derived property he obtained from his Ponzi-style bridge loan participation scheme.
Pursuant to the terms of a plea agreement, the United States and the Defendant agreed to a 48-month sentence of incarceration. A sentencing hearing will be held before United States Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel. A date has not yet been set for the hearing. The court will decide whether to accept the plea agreement. If the court rejects the plea agreement, the defendant will be permitted to withdraw his guilty plea.
This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal-Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas State Securities Board. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Pierce is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.