Kenneth Wayne McLeod
Douglas K. Garner
Douglas Garner, the Director of Air Operations, Custom and Border Protection, was another victim of McLeod. The longtime government employee —he'd worked in the U.S. Customs Service and the Department of Homeland Security before his current position—had met McLeod in Corpus Christi, Texas, where McLeod was a speaker at a retirement planning training for CBP.
Garner had gone to five seminars where either McLeod or one of his employees had spoken.
Like Coront, he'd gotten the spiel on the Thrift Savings Plan, and filled out the free questionnaire, designed to give McLeod a clear understanding of Garner's wealth.
When he sold his house in 2003, Garner turned to McLeod for investment advice. Again, the special bond fund opportunity was presented, and, again, the customer took the bait. It was hard to ignore McLeod's sales pitch. Garner told the SEC, "McLeod also told me that other investors in the FEBG Bond Fun included 'exclusive clientele,' including high-ranking government officials, federal judges, and a U.S. Supreme Court Justice."
By the next year, McLeod was Garner's full-time money manager. Garner had invested nearly $200,000 in the fake bond scheme. A few years later, Garner convinced his own father to invest in the nonexistent fund. His dad, in turn, made McLeod $600,000 richer.
Unlike Coront, Garner had no idea that he was being swindled, until June 2010, when he got an email from McLeod telling him that the fund was terminated and regulators would be contacting him. Wrote McLeod: "I also want to sincerely apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. I pray that at some point in time you can and will forgive me."
When McLeod didn't reply to subsequent emails, Garner cut off his password to all accounts.
Between Garner and his father, the Garner family was out over one million dollars. The cash has yet to be refunded.
What must have been especially galling for Garner is that in the letter introducing the bond fund, McLeod almost seems to warn his victim. "With all of the Ponzi Scams going on around the world I wanted to insure you that this account is 100% secured by US Gov't Securities and the principal is never touched until liquidated."