As owner and chief pitchman for The Income Store, Kenneth Courtright promised investors annual returns of up to 20% a year — forever — in return for a six-figure “upfront fee” used to build and operate websites.
Forever ended in December, according to federal investigators, when Courtright, 49, who operates the business out of his home in southwest suburban Minooka, informed investors of a “temporary moratorium” on payouts due to cash flow problems, as the website revenue failed to keep up with promised returns.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday that Courtright’s assets have been frozen amid allegations that Today’s Growth Consultants, better known as The Income Store, was a Ponzi-like scheme that raised at least $75 million from more than 500 investors since 2017.
“Courtright’s alleged fraud promised a guaranteed return when the company’s business model and financial condition could not possibly support it,” Antonia Chion, associate director in the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a news release Tuesday. “To avoid further harm to investors and preserve the misused assets that have not already been dissipated, we have sought and obtained emergency relief.”