The only assets in a Rick Siskey investment fund the FBI has alleged was a Ponzi scheme were a $9 million “note receivable” and nearly $10 million in unspecified “other investments,” according to a federal court document unsealed Friday at the Observer’s request.
TSI Holdings had 114 investors who had put in a little over $19 million, according to the document, but the fund lacks “sufficient assets” to pay investors the amount claimed in the statements they received.
The FBI affidavit unsealed Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer includes tax information that had been blacked out in a copy previously filed by the government. It provides more specifics about TSI Holdings, but largely reinforces portions of the affidavit that have been previously disclosed.
Siskey took his own life in December, days after court filings gave the first public indication that he was under investigation for fraud allegations. The redacted FBI affidavit, which was unsealed in January at the Observer’s request, alleged he was operating a Ponzi scheme and that more than 100 investors could be out $19 million.
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Last month, attorneys for investors filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against TSI Holdings, which led to the appointment of a trustee charged with identifying Siskey assets and investors with potential claims. At a hearing this week, an attorney said more Siskey companies may also be pushed into bankruptcy.
The Observer filed a motion asking for the unsealing of the unredacted FBI affidavit this month. In its response, the government objected to the move based on federal law that protects taxpayer information from unnecessary disclosure. It did not say, however, that disclosure would compromise an ongoing investigation.
In Friday’s order, Cayer said the “court does not find that further sealing of the redacted information is necessitated by a compelling government interest or that countervailing interests heavily outweigh the public interests in access here.”
Before Friday, about two pages of the 16-page FBI affidavit had been blacked out. The unredacted version shows that TSI’s assets were mostly a $9.2 million “note receivable,” possibly from Siskey, and $9.8 million in “other investments.”
The total assets grew from $10.6 million in tax year 2011 to about $19 million in 2015. The “other investments” stayed mostly unchanged from 2012 to 2015, which makes it appear that the “majority of the investor money” was “not being invested,” the affidavit says.
Siskey’s widow, Diane, has said she would set aside $37.5 million of the $47 million in life insurance proceeds she has received for investors and other creditors. The trustee in the bankruptcy case has a web site where Siskey investors can receive more information and provide contact information at https://tsiholdings.wordpress.com/.