Leading Minnesota Race Horse Owners Accused In Ponzi Scheme

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota couple whose race horses have been among the most successful at Canterbury Park over the years is accused of defrauding 200 investors of nearly $18 million in an investment scam.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that Jason Bullard and his wife, Angela Romero-Bullard, of Shakopee, operated the Ponzi scheme from 2007 to 2021. The Bullards own Empire Racing Stables LLC, a 24-horse operation that has been one of the top winners at the Shakopee track in recent years.

This year, the couple's horses have won 23 races and collected $366,425 in purse earnings, ranking second among all owners, according to course officials. Their stables shared the top spot in 2019 with 32 wins and earnings of $471,088, the Star Tribune reported.

The SEC lawsuit states that the Bullards told investors they could earn annual returns of 10% to 12% by putting their money into two family-controlled funds used to trade foreign currencies. However, the SEC said Jason Bullard “admitted that he has not traded foreign currencies with investor funds since approximately 2015.”

The Bullards did not respond to requests from the newspaper for comment. Minneapolis attorney Randy Sparling, who is representing Jason Bullard, said his client is “cooperating” with the authorities.

“We are not making any admissions or denials in terms of what has happened,” Sparling said.