Investors with the late Rick Siskey could be owed more than $51 million, more than double the amount initially detailed in an FBI affidavit alleging the Charlotte businessman ran a Ponzi scheme.
Siskey took his own life in December, days after court filings gave the first public indication that he was under investigation for fraud allegations. An FBI affidavit unsealed in January alleged he was operating a Ponzi scheme and that more than 100 investors in a fund called TSI Holdings could be out as much as $19 million.
At a bankrupcy court hearing Monday in Charlotte, attorney Charles Monnett III, who is representing some of the investors, said three additional Siskey companies that are being pushed into bankruptcy – WSC Holdings, SouthPark Partners and Sharon Road Properties – had liabilities of about $28.7 million.
Counting about $4 million in interest owed TSI investors, that pushes the total owed investors to more than $51 million, Monnet said, citing information uncovered by attorney Joseph Grier, the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. Monnett said in court that only Sharon Road Properties appears to have any assets associated with it – an investment in the SouthPark building where Siskey had his office.
Siskey was a financial planner and insurance salesman who built a high-profile practice in Charlotte after arriving here in 1985. Some of his investors were unsophisticated or elderly, placing retirement accounts, pension funds and insurance payouts with Siskey, according to the FBI affidavit.
Siskey’s widow, Diane, has pledged to set aside $37.5 million of the $46.94 million in life insurance proceeds from her husband’s death for investors. Authorities have not suggested that anyone else was involved with the alleged Ponzi scheme.
“My goal is to make sure people get back what they’re owed, with interest,” Monnett told the Observer after the hearing.
Bankruptcy court Judge Craig Whitley on Monday appointed Grier as trustee for WSC Holdings, SouthPark Partners and Sharon Road Properties. He was already trustee for TSI Holdings, charged with identifying assets and potential claims by investors.
From the bench, Whitley wished Grier luck in the endeavor.
“It looks like you have a lot to look into,” the judge said.