Confidence…Make that Confidence Man

A former IRS employee decided to head to Thailand after bilking investors in a Ponzi scheme. That country wasn’t a great choice, as there is an extradition treaty to the US. Adding to his woes was his general disdain for paying taxes.

Richard Saunders ran a company called Advisors Capital Holdings in St. Louis. He guaranteed good returns for investors, but he apparently stole a page from Mr. Ponzi: He paid his investors using new investors’ money. That works for a while, but sooner or later the scheme will fall apart. He also took plenty of the money for his own use.

Mr. Saunders, who used to work for the IRS, also didn’t like filing tax returns or paying taxes. He filed his 1992 to 1998 returns late, and didn’t bother to pay the amounts due. He lied to the IRS (never a good idea), and then headed off to Thailand in 2008. He was deported back to the US in early 2011 and arrested.

Mr. Saunders pleaded guilty in October, and received his sentence last week: 72 months at ClubFed for wire fraud, and 60 months (to be served concurrently) for tax evasion. He must also make restitution of $6 million to the Ponzi scheme victims and $446,000 to the IRS.

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