Houston vet jailed in Thailand, says he's innocent in alleged Ponzi scheme

“My son is a very hardworking ordinary American,” said Dana Keller.

What Navy veteran Derrick Matthew Keller is going through right now is anything but ordinary.

He and his wife Tanya and their adult son and daughter moved to China in 2015. 

Tanya Keller a retired ballerina teaches dance.

Derrick was working as an actor appearing in small motion pictures and promotional videos

“No one has seen him or talked to him since August 21, 2018,” Keller said.

Dana Keller knows where his son is.

He is in a Thailand prison.

“He’s living in horrid conditions,” his father said.

Keller says his son is in a cell with 50 other prisoners sleeps on the floor and gets only one meal a day.

“It’s been pure Hell,” said Keller. “My wife and I both have not had a decent night’s sleep since this occurred.”

Derrick Keller’s arrest happened last August when he and Tanya took a vacation to Thailand.

The arrest centers around a video for an investment company called Eagle Gate.

“He just thought it was a promo a video, like a commercial,” Derrick’s father said. “He didn’t know exactly what it was for.”

Keller says his son portrayed the CEO of the company in the videos.

According to Thailand prosecutors, the company is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme and they say Keller and others reaped millions.

His family believes the real CEO of the fraudulent scheme stole Derrick’s identity.

Derrick’s family is adamant.

They say his only crime was playing a part in promotional videos.

“He has produced as evidence the contract he signed he has provided the script he was supposed to read he has produced financial records from the U.S. showing he has no money,” Keller said. “They think he has anywhere from $8 -$15 million dollars if he had that kind of money he would have bought his way out a long time ago."

Derrick Keller’s trail is set for next month.

If convicted he could be sentenced to 30 years.