Summerville businessman indicted on investment fraud charges

By Andy Owens
Published Jan. 10, 2013

A former insurance agent in Summerville ran an investment scheme that he used to buy luxury items, take vacations and pay child support, according to a federal grand jury indictment.

Timothy D. Mays, 48, was charged with 28 counts of wire fraud along with multiple counts of mail fraud and knowingly filing a false income tax return, according to a federal indictment filed Tuesday in Charleston.

The indictment said that from November 2008 to June 2011, Mays, the CEO of MaysGroup Financial and Life Trust Financial LLC in Summerville, would place advertisements in local publications to sell certificates of deposit with a guaranteed rate of return. Some of the advertisements specifically targeted retirees and senior citizens, the indictment said.

Mays used Community First Bank and Ally Bank in the ads, the grand jury said, but he had no working relationship with either bank.

“As a promotional incentive, Mays promised investors would receive the advertised rate of return even if the actual bank rate was lower than advertised,” the indictment said.

Investors who converted retirement accounts were promised bonuses if they invested at least $25,000, the indictment said.

In all, Mays is accused of receiving more than $1 million from 17 investors. Individual deposits from investors ranged from as low as $500 to as high as $300,000, according to federal court documents.

The grand jury said he only invested $200,000 from one investor, and used about $203,000 to keep the fraud scheme going when some investors threatened to go to law enforcement officials. The indictment said that some investors did go to authorities.

The indictment said Mays used $686,477 for a variety of personal and business expenses, including child support, medical expenses, rent and utilities for home and office. The indictment said he also purchased luxury items, vacations and an automobile.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Mays could face a maximum sentence of 20 years and $250,000 for each count of wire fraud and mail fraud.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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