Kansas City, Missouri – Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was convicted by a federal trial jury today of a nearly $500,000 investment fraud scheme.
Ryan Scott Luscombe, 45, of Kansas City, was found guilty of all six counts contained in a June 6, 2017, federal indictment. Luscombe was convicted of three counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.
Luscombe solicited investments for his business, Five Star Trading Group, Inc., claiming to investors that he would utilize his expertise in stock trading to produce exorbitant returns. Instead, evidence introduced during the trial indicated that the entirety of investor funds, which totaled $483,482, was used by Luscombe on personal expenditures in 2013, 2014 and 2015, including the purchase of a 2010 BMW 750I and a trip to Bermuda.
To date, none of Luscombe’s investors have received funds from returns or their original investment.
During the course of the scheme to defraud victims of their investment money, Luscombe represented himself as a wealthy individual and a successful day trader capable of producing tremendous returns on investments.
Luscombe told investors he was creating a new business to manage over $50 million from three investors in Arizona. Luscombe claimed he would be the primary investment trader, but because the dollar amount to be invested would be too large for one person to handle, he recruited two people to assist in his trading endeavor. In exchange for a fee or investment in the business, Luscombe offered to train the additional individuals in his trading strategy. Eventually, Luscombe told investors he would allow a small number of friends and family to take advantage or “piggyback” off the investment strategy of the larger investors.
Luscombe’s stated investment strategy was to trade securities in the stock market based on the identification of trends in the upward or downward direction of the stock price. Luscombe told investors the risk was very low and minimal because he constantly monitored the stock price. Luscombe told investors he had been in the trading business for many years and had previously made millions of dollars.
Luscombe regularly provided positive projected investment return updates to the victims regarding their investments, and claimed investor money would be utilized for trading and generating profits for investors. As a direct result of these conversations, investors entrusted their money to him.
The full press release is available at justice.gov.