On Wednesday, December 11, a Bozeman jury found Richard Reynolds of Belgrade guilty of six felony charges for bilking 141 victims out of $5.4 million through investor theft and running a massive Ponzi scheme.

Communications Director for Montana Securities and Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen, Jennifer McKee, explained how Reynolds, who also used the alias Richard Adkins, was able to dupe so many people out of millions of dollars.

"He used the relationships that he had formed with pastors and ministers and other religious individuals to bring people into his own Ponzi-style investment scheme," McKee said. "He would take their money and simply spend it on himself, while only investing a very small amount of the money they entrusted him with."

McKee said Reynolds will be sentenced next spring.

"The next step for him is sentencing on March 11th of next year," McKee said. "He faces a maximum of 60 years in prison and a $170,000 fine."

McKee said the conviction and sentence does little to restore the millions that Reynolds took from investors.

"Victims of securities fraud in Montana can apply for partial payment from our victim's compensation account through the commissioner's office here in Helena," McKee said. "There's a formula of how much victims can receive that's based on a certain dollar amount or a certain percentage, depending on which is less. The intent is not to restore all their money, but to help victims of financial fraud get back on their feet."

Reynolds stole more than $4 million, while investing only about $8,000.

Communications Director for Montana Securities and Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen, Jennifer McKee