ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Brockport man pleaded guilty in a scheme prosecutors say defrauded investors of nearly $20 million.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Halford W. Johnson, 60, was the chief financial officer of Capstone Financial Group, Inc. They said 95 investors purchased $19,807,303 in stock in the company between September 2013 and April 2018.
During that time, prosecutors say Johnson and CEO Darin Pastor fraudulently represented Pastor’s personal wealth in order to lure investors. They built a Wikipedia page indicating Pastor was worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Prosecutors say they also told investors their money would be used to fund business deals such as a fuel production facility, gold sales, and livestock sales, projecting hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Pastor, who died in March, instead used investors’ money to pay off his personal debts, buy a $1.5 million house in Clarence, buy a house in Florida, buy nearly $300,000 in jewelry, and pay for a destination wedding, according to prosecutors.
Capstone eventually told investors they would buy back shares of stock for at least four times the initial purchase price. The company made partial payments totaling $6,728,500.
Johnson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for April 2.