Fort Worth Real Estate Instructor Sentenced to 13 Years for Ponzi Scheme

A former instructor at the Purvis Real Estate Training Institute in Fort Worth, Texas, received a sentence of 13 years in jail and restitution of about $1.27 million for a running a Ponzi scheme targeting real estate investors. Bobby Vise pled guilty to theft earlier this week. Vise was accused of recruiting victims by citing past successes with real estate investments and promising to accomplish the same thing for them. However, he did not buy properties for the victims, as promised, but instead of used the money for himself. Many of the victims were his students at Purvis, officials said. The scheme ran between August 2009 and October 2012.

The Purvis Real Estate Training Institute has been training realtors since 1973 and is Fort Worth’s oldest training institution for real estate professionals. Vise is accused of having used his position at the institution to convince 12 aspiring real estate professionals to invest with him. “While collar crimes strike at more than the victim’s finances. They’re a traumatic breach of trust from which it can takes years to recover, both financially and psychologically,” said Tarrant County criminal district attorney Sharon Wilson.

The county’s White Collar Crime Unit said Vise’s conviction and sentencing demonstrate “white collar crime will not be tolerated in Tarrant County.”