On Dec. 21, 2016, a cryptic court filing in federal court in Charlotte was the first sign that one of the biggest investment frauds in the city’s history was about to unravel.
On that day, federal authorities filed documents that indicated Rick Siskey, a well-known Charlotte financial planner and businessman, was under investigation for fraud. The documents provided no details, although sources at the time told the Charlotte Observer that authorities were looking into one of Siskey’s investment funds.
A week later, the story took a dark turn. Siskey took his own life. He was just 58 years old.
Soon after his death, a judge unsealed an FBI affidavit that revealed allegations that Siskey had been operating a long-running Ponzi scheme, costing investors millions.
The accusations were stunning because for years Siskey had built a reputation as a savvy businessman and generous philanthropist.
Even today, the story is still unfolding as investors – including longtime friends, retirees and high-profile figures in sports and entertainment – wait to see how much money they will get back. On November 1, they got their first look at a bankruptcy court trustee’s report on how much money they might get back.
This Observer video provides an inside look at Siskey’s rise to prominence, the family’s lavish lifestyle and the ongoing fallout for his investors. The timeline below highlights some of the key dates in the case.
Here you can also examine some of the key documents in the case: