A Lafayette man who pleaded guilty in federal court to participating in an investment scam that fraudulently netted $8 million will spend more than two years behind bars. Fifty-four year old Steve Fouke was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Haik to pay nearly $6.4 million in restitution.
According to U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley, Fouke became a client of former Lafayette resident Richard Buswell in 2006, according to court documents filed in connection with the guilty plea. Buswell worked as a licensed stockbroker from 2006 until 2009 for Bowman Investment Group LLC, a company Buswell owned.
Fouke admitted to recruiting friends and business associates to become clients of Buswell and the Bowman Investment Group. Fouke also admitted to being present at meetings between Buswell and his clients, during which Buswell made false statements to the clients about his credentials, the commissions he would charge, and the rates of return he guaranteed clients would receive.
Buswell admitted in a July 2013 guilty plea to engaging in frequent and excessive stock trades in order to earn commissions. He had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance analogue in connection with another of his former businesses, the Curious Goods smoke shop. He has yet to be sentenced in the Bowman scheme.