A woman who helped run a $4.7 million investment fraud was sentenced to 80 years in the Texas state prison system for major theft. 61-year-old Karen P. Bowie, originally from Maine, had been a partner in Titan Wealth Management, LLC. In 2009 Titan was subject to an SEC complaint alleging that Bowie and the company’s owner, Thomas Irby, were operating a Ponzi scheme that had victimized 30 investors.
Running their scam from Plano, TX, Irby and Bowie used Titan to solicit investments for “European Mid-Term Notes” that supposedly produced short-term returns of 10 to 50%. The pair claimed the Euro Notes were issued by European Banks and backed by a special Titan Wealth $10 million note that could be used to redeem any client losses. To top it off, Titan Wealth would receive no compensation from Euro-note purchases or sales. Are there still noble entrepreneurs out there who wish nothing more than to give you 50% returns on principal, and purely out of heartfelt goodness?
Unfortunately Irby and Bowie weren’t as altruistic as they seemed. The Euro Notes turned out to be a Euro-fantasy, and there was a greater chance of Barney Fife intimidating a hardened criminal than that $10 million miracle-note ever materializing. The two schemers had raised $4.7 million only to pay out fictitious interest from investors’ own funds and misappropriate the rest. Bowie in particular used some of this money to buy a beachfront home in her home state of Maine.
Irby had been sentenced in 2010 to 24 years in prison after being convicted on charges of money laundering. Bowie’s 80-year sentence, handed down in Collin County, is likely connected to her role of encouraging Irby to make false representations to investors and then telling him where to direct their funds.
KAREN P. BOWIE
- Age: 61
- Company: Titan Wealth Management, LLC
- Job: Partner
- Scam: Medium-Term Euro Notes
- Rate of Return: 10-50%
- Amount of Fraud: $4.7 million
- Victims: 30
- Location: Plano,TX
- Indictment: Theft of More than $200,000
- Court: Collin County Court in Plano, TX