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Man involved in Ponzi scheme pleads guilty to fraud

Wisconsin readers might be interested in an Iowa man who was reportedly involved in a Ponzi scheme. The man pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme from a business that he ran out of his home that he used to defraud investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was released on bond pending his sentencing, a date which has not been set, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The man signed a plea agreement which was subsequently made public. In the agreement, he acknowledged that he used his company to solicit and collect money from 11 investors in 2008 and 2009. He promised investors that he would trade foreign currency contracts or futures and promised them impressive investment returns. He then lost money on investments that he made and used investor money to pay back other investors. In order to cover up his fraud, he is said to have issued phony account statements that offered reassurances that the money was growing.

His plea agreement requires him to identify all of his investors and pay them full restitution in a yet-to-be-determined amount. The deal did not include a recommended prison sentence for the fraud charge, which carries a 20 year maximum.

This story provides an excellent example of a plea bargain. In his case, he did pay a penalty, but he was able to avoid time in prison. Individuals who are charged with a white collar crime such as embezzlement or fraud may choose to speak with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney. In cases where the evidence may be strong enough for a conviction, an attorney may be able to broker a satisfactory plea deal with the prosecution.

Source: Bloomberg businessweek, "Iowa man pleads guilty to fraud in Ponzi scheme ", Ryan J. Joley, July 11, 2013

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