Bethany Man Sentenced To 21 Years For Ponzi Scheme

Wednesday, April 25th 2012, 6:12 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A Bethany man has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for scamming Oklahomans out of millions of dollars in a Bernie Maddoff type of investment scheme.

Brian McKye is going to prison for running a Ponzi Scheme where he convinced Oklahomans to invest in his payday loan companies. In all, McKye stole $4.5 million.

"He's taken food from us, the roof over our head, and I'm pissed," Judy Chancellor told News 9 Wednesday.  She and her husband were one of the 115 victims of McKye.

Chancellor says back in 2008, they responded to an ad about putting their money in a trust.

"Here comes this big old man to our front door, and he tells us he's a former FBI man so we feel immediately comfortable," said Chancellor.

So they invested her husband's entire retirement fund: $30,000.

"That $30,000 was like $300,000 to us. It was hard-earned money."

Court papers say McKye and his partners would guarantee investors a monthly rate of return up to 20 percent and investors had "100 percent total control" of their money.

"Big returns, big returns; he said banks are no good," Chancellor recalls.

McKye then used the money for his own personal and business expenses, with limited returns to investors to keep the scheme going.

"My husband always reads the paper. He said ‘Judy, I think you need to read this,'" Chancellor said, referring to a 2009 headline about McKye's scam. 

It was then that Judy realized her husband's retirement fund was gone.  She has been told they will only see pennies on the dollar for all the money they invested.

"That means he will work for the rest of his life," said Chancellor.     

McKye has been ordered to pay the whole $4.5 million back in restitution.  A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney tells News 9 they will do everything they can do to get as much of that money back as they can and that includes garnishing the money he earns in prison.