Victims Glad Investment Advisor Now Faces Federal Indictment
By Jennifer Kraus
Consumer Investigative Reporter
They trusted him with their life savings. And, then, they said, that investment adviser took their money and spent it all on himself.
NewsChannel5 Investigates first exposed the money scheme nearly three years ago. Now, the law has finally caught up with the Atlanta-based money man. Charles Vaughn is now facing a 14 count federal indictment and his victims couldn't be happier.
Trace Ragland told NewsChannel5 Investigates, "I have a birthday coming up in two days so this was a good birthday gift."
Ragland was thrilled to hear that Atlanta investment adviser Charles Vaughn has been arrested and now faces 14 counts of mail and wire fraud. The federal indictment came out earlier this week. Ragland got the news when NewsChannel5 Investigates called him.
"My phone hasn't stopped since we talked. People calling, singing, 'Hallelujah.' Honestly everybody's excited," Ragland said.
More than three years ago, Ragland, members of his family and many of his friends, all here in middle Tennessee, lost everything they had after they put their trust in Vaughn and gave him millions of dollars to invest.
Vaughn sent them monthly statements showing they were earning huge profits. He even occasionally sent dividend checks. But, the whole thing, according to federal prosecutors was really nothing more than a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
"It's the same thing as Madoff, only it's right here at home," Ragland reflected.
And just like Bernie Madoff, Vaughn spent his victims' money on a lavish lifestyle, spending millions of dollars buying himself fancy jewelry, fancy cars, and a fancy truck to haul his speed boat, leaving dozens of victims in his wake.
"You've got retired people that he's taken every penny they've ever worked for. He's got everything I've ever worked for, our kids' college funds. The devastation that he's caused families, people have lost their houses, people in their 70's that are going back to work," Ragland shared.
Ragland figures he'll never see his money again, but seeing Vaughn have his day in court, he said, will almost be as good.
"I'll be there," he promised.
Charles Vaughn is now out of jail on $50,000 bond. If he's convicted on all 14 counts of fraud that he's facing, he could wind up spending the rest of his life in prison.
Federal prosecutors said Vaughn took more than $7,000,000 from investors. His victims though insist it was much more than that. And while federal prosecutors said Vaughn had investors in at least five states, many of them were from here in Tennessee.