FBI Investigates Four in Ponzi Scheme, More Victims Come Forward
At least four Ohio citizens have been under federal investigation by the FBI for allegedly operating a ponzi scheme that victimized almost 200 local investors. William Apostelos, the supposed organizer of the fraud, kept it in the family – his wife, sister, and a local doctor were all involved in the financial scam. Upwards of $50 million worth of financial losses is estimated, according to federal investigators. The day after the story broke in the Daytona Daily News, about four-dozen people contacted the FBI claiming the group had victimized them. An affidavit filed in federal court claims the five-month long investigation revealed that millions of dollars were deposited into accounts controlled by Apostelos and then transferred to prior investors. If you or someone you know has been charged with organizing a ponzi scheme, or any other federal fraud crime, contact an experienced fraud defense attorney immediately.
What is a Ponzi Scheme
An investment fraud that involves the payment of returns to existing investors directly from the contributed funds of new investors is known as a ponzi scheme. These types of investment plans promise high returns with little or no risk to them. Because the organizer of a ponzi scheme focuses on recruiting new investors who are willing to hand over funds, the promised payments to prior investors are realized and, consequently, the illusion of legitimacy is established. Unless money from new investors continues to come in, ponzi schemes collapse because they generate little or no genuine revenue.
A ponzi scheme falls under the umbrella of fraud offenses, which are governed by state and federal law. The trademark characteristic of a fraud offense is that deception is used, instead of force, to commit the act. The government bears the burden of proving intent, or state of mind, as one of the elements of the case. Without a confession or statements from the defendant describing intent, more often than not these cases are proven through circumstantial evidence. To be successful in a prosecution of fraud, the government must prove the accused intentionally misled another for unlawful purposes.
Federal and State Fraud Defense
If you or someone you know has been charged with committing fraud, or any other type of criminal offense, contact a knowledgeable Florida fraud defense attorney today. Fighting a criminal fraud charge can be complicated as they are brought under detailed statutes, which contain technical and confusing language. The government has access to an entire legal team, and are working hard to put together a case against an accused. Attorney Carl H. Lida has decades of experience successfully defending clients in cases at the trial and appellate levels. To schedule your initial consultation, contact (954) 472-5001.