Longtime Fraudster and Career Criminal Sentenced to 40 Years


A federal judge sentenced Harris Dempsey “Butch” Ballow in May to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding investors in a Nevada company. The judge also ordered Ballow to pay more than $37 million in restitution to those investors.

Dubbed a “financial predator” by the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting him, Ballow made a career out of stealing people’s hard-earned money through various financial scams. Ballow’s grandiose frauds date back to the 1980s.

The judge that handed down Ballow’s sentence called his long-term fraud crime spree “outrageous” and “despicable,” noting the more than 500 victims ensnared by his latest scheme.

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Ballow perpetrated his criminal scheme while he was a fugitive from justice, seeking refuge in the hinterlands of Mexico.

“Ballow fled the United States in late 2004, right around the time he was scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on a previous federal conviction for fraud-related money laundering,” FBI Houston Special Agent Kendall Hopper said, “but instead of keeping a low profile, he brazenly continued his criminal ways.”

Most Recent Fraud Scheme

Ballow’s 40-year prison term is the result of a structured fraud wherein he and co-conspirators purchased the majority of the publicly traded shares of a Nevada company, E-SOL International Corporation.