The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday that it is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a Raleigh man accused of using a Ponzi scheme to bilk mostly Christian victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ronald Earl McCullough, 44, has been on the lam for nearly three years after federal authorities filed arrest warrants charging him with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud engaging in unlawful monetary transactions and aiding and abetting.
Investigators have accused McCullough and another man, David Christopher Mayhew, 43, of Raleigh, of soliciting people in what they described as “an exclusive foreign exchange group.”
A federal judge in January sentenced Mayhew to 26 years in prison for conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. But federal authorities can’t find McCullough, who they think may be living in the Atlanta area, according to FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch.
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FBI agents say McCullough portrayed himself as a religious leader and used that angle to get investors to trust him with their life savings and even with property that two victims planned to build a church on. After reviewing bank records, investigators determined McCullough and Mayhew never successfully invested any money.
“They paid back very little as Ponzi payments, spent more than $800,000 and lost more than $400,000 trading other people’s money,” Lynch said Thursday in a press release.
Federal agents are using wanted posters, digital billboards and social media in their effort to apprehend McCullough. They ask anyone with information about McCullough’s whereabouts to call 1-800-225-5324.