Charles Leif Erickson, 73, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and ordered to pay about $1.6 million in restitution in connection with a Ponzi scheme that he carried out on members of the church in which he was a pastor. He had 25 investors invest $3.5 million into the scheme and promised them 96% returns over a two year period. Court records show that “Erickson believed that the Holy Spirit had given him a proprietary system for day trading a particularly volatile type of futures contract.”
Malcolm Segal, 70, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $3.2 million in restitution in connection with a Ponzi scheme. Segal falsely promised his brokerage customers that the FDIC-insured CDs he was selling would generate higher interest than CDs available to the general public.
Lawrence Paul “Larry” Stephens, 53, pleaded guilty to securities fraud in connection with a Ponzi scheme he ran while using somebody else’s certified public accountant license. Stephens solicited funds for the “Black Canyon Project” which was supposedly a toll road that was going to be built in Orange County, California. No toll road was ever actually planned.