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Former CPA Draw 15 Years for Ponzi Scheme     

A former CPA in south-central Missouri has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for conducting a Ponzi scheme that swindled victims of millions. Douglas Richardson, age 47, was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison and ordered to pay his victims more than $8.8 million in restitution.

 Richardson was convicted on Nov.  17,  2019 of six counts of wire fraud and four counts of money laundering.

A sole practitioner, Richardson had operated Douglas A. Richardson, CPA, LLC since Feb. 2009 and was former CFO, treasurer, and CPA of Smart Prong Technologies, Tulsa, Okla., from Dec. 2013, to June 2016. Smart Prong developed technology, and manufactured devices for charging cell phones.

Richardson transferred at least $4.4 million from Smart Prong bank accounts into his personal and business accounts and solicited loans from several clients. While the money was supposed to be invested, part it was used for his personal benefit, and to pay other individuals including prior investors and others to whom he owed money.

For example, Richardson enticed a client to loan Richardson $365,000 from his business to provide funding for a real estate deal and an automobile dealership. Instead, the CPA used $230,000 to repay to another individual, spent $72,704 to pay off a Chevrolet Corvette, and issued a $7,500 check to himself.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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