Investors in Derby business involved in alleged Ponzi scheme speak out
DERBY, Kan. (KAKE) - Victims of an alleged Ponzi scheme in Kansas are coming forward to KAKE News.
A judge ordered a restraining order against the financial group in Derby, accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of investments from investors in 15 different states, including Kansas. The Kansas and Oklahoma securities commissioners have both filed civil suits against the company - Premier Global Corporation - and several defendants including its manager, Steven Parish.
“If he was doing this from the beginning, knowing that this was gonna be the end game, he's fooled a lot of people,” Ryan Trowbridge, an investor, said.
Trowbridge said his account with the company is now empty after investing with Parish in 2018. He said he has known Parish since high school.
“The lifestyle that he started living the last few years… the Belize, the Jets, high end cars, that kind of thing started making everybody, you know…he went from, like I say, swinging a hammer on a month-to-month paycheck to flying around all over the world,” he said.
Derby residents told KAKE News they saw state and federal agents raiding the Premier Global Corp. building earlier this week. Court documents say the company raised nearly $100 million from at least 570 investors, promising to make money.
Instead, the company and Parish are accused of transferring that money to 21 bank accounts to pay for real estate in Belize and Las Vegas, among other personal expenses.
“There’s a lot of money somewhere, and I just hope one day he wakes up, feels bad about this situation and gets it back to the people that trusted him,” Trowbridge said.
Also, no one knows where Parrish is. The securities commissioner said Parish was last seen in October in San Diego, where his wife has now filed a missing person’s report with law enforcement.
"I know there's a lot of people looking for him, so...," Trowbridge said. "I know Steve's a smart guy, so if he had an exit plan with that amount of money, he's on the other side of the world."
KAKE News knocked on the door of an address listed in the court documents under Parish’s name. No one answered, and no lights appeared to be on inside the home.
“More questions were asked, other people started coming in saying this is fishy,” Trowbridge said. “This is not happening the way it's supposed to. And when more people start digging up what was going on with their bank accounts, we all put it together, I think, in that he had cleared out bank accounts and had bad intentions.”