Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Wentzville man pleads guilty to investment fraud

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

James Staley leaves the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse on Thursday afternoon, April 30, 2015, after pleading guilty to defrauding investors out of $500,000 in an investment scheme. (Photo by J.B. Forbes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ST. LOUIS (AP) – An eastern Missouri man has pleaded guilty to fraud charges for pocketing $570,000 after defrauding investors.

Forty-year-old James Staley faces sentencing July 29 after pleading guilty in federal court on Thursday.

Staley, of Wentzville, ran Wealth Financial International and was a sales agent for a California company called B&B Equity. Federal prosecutors say he promised guaranteed returns that he couldn’t back up. All told, 16 people invested $3.3 million.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much money the investors lost.