The scammer called themselves the "3 Hebrew Boys," drawing their nickname from a Biblical account of three men who survived being tossed into a fiery furnace because of their faith. In their pitch, the men told investors they had been through the flames of crushing debt and survived, thanks to their secret investments and the power of God.

Three Hebrew Boys
Three Hebrew Boys-picture by Fraud Talk

The Three Hebrew Boys—Tony Pough, age 48; Joseph Brunson, age 48; and Timothy McQueen, age 53, formerly of Columbia, South Carolina, all currently incarcerated—were sentenced in December 2010 to the highest fraud sentences in the history of this federal district after being convicted of masterminding an $82 million Ponzi scheme. Brunson and McQueen each received 27 years’ imprisonment, and Pough received 30 years’ imprisonment.

How the scam work
The three men traveled to churches and other gatherings across the Southeast and spoke to soldiers near military outposts, preaching how faith and an investment in what they said were foreign currencies would at least double their money, wipe out credit card debt and pay off mortgages in months.

The Three Hebrew Boys who operated variously as the "3 Hewbrew Boys LLC," and "Capital Consortium Group, Inc." promised massive returns based on investment in the foreign currency exchange market, or FOREX. For a contribution of a few thousand dollars, investors were supposed to have their homes, cars, college tuition, credit card bills, and other financial obligations paid off. Instead, the Three Hebrew Boys used some of the incoming money from new investors to pay their outstanding obligations.

Three Hebrew Boys convicted in November 2009
Brunson, Pough, and McQueen were convicted in November 2009 of the 58 counts they were charged with, including conspiracy, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; mail fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; interstate transportation of stolen goods, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2314; and money laundering, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957.

Investors are getting back some of the money they entrusted to a trio, A federal judge appointed Ashmore, a Greenville attorney, to round up and sell off assets belonging to the 3 men. In May 2012, the first allotment of $19 million was distributed to more than 4,000 people who said they were fleeced by the trio.

For further information regarding payments to victims and the status of the restitution, consult the receiver’s website at