Man accused of swindling investors

April 3, 2009 8:23:07 PM PDT
A Fort Bend County man is now facing charges, accused of taking investors for close to $1 million. Some of his investors claim he promised "big money" but he didn't deliver. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

After his appearance in court Friday morning, Eyewitness News obtained court documents detailing what prosecutors say amounts to a scheme in which the Fort Bend man sweet talked and smooth talked nearly $1 million from more than a dozen trusting clients.

Stanley James Jr., 49, is accused of money laundering and theft during 2005 and 2006. According to court documents, he represented himself as a financial advisor who could turn around huge, double-digit percentage profits in a short period of time.

The criminal complaint includes a list of 13 investors all of whom gave James thousands of dollars. Investigators say he did not invest one dime and that he used the money on himself to support his own lavish lifestyle.

Neighbors in the Royal Lakes subdivision near Booth where he owned a lakeside home say James often drove flashy cars and held boisterous parties. Investigators say he spent the money also on jewelry and women. Most of it, including the house, was seized by the government.

"He got me for over a quarter million. Well over a quarter million. Almost a half (million)," said

For one victim though it was not just money that James allegedly stole. Jansen Bell's brother, sister and father all died when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Bell says the money he gave James was much of what he received in a settlement following that tragedy.

"That is the lowest of the low. I got my money from wrongful death, from people dying. People I love and I miss in my life. This man took, swindled me out of money I got from my dead father, brother, and sister," said Jansen Bell.

Bell still hopes to get some of that money back, but it's unclear how much money investigators have been able to find.

James' attorney says they have pleaded not guilty and that he is innocent of the alleged crimes. If convicted, James could be sent to prison for up to 99 years.

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