Home Atlanta Press Releases 2013 Ponzi Schemers Indicted

Ponzi Schemers Indicted

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 16, 2013
  • Middle District of Georgia (478) 752-3511

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that Gregory L. Crabtree of Proctorville, Ohio, and James M. Donnan, III, of Athens, Georgia, have been charged in an 85-count indictment returned against them last week and unsealed today. The indictment charges the two men with operating an alleged pyramid, or Ponzi, scheme between 2008 and 2010 in the Middle District of Georgia and elsewhere.

Crabtree and Donnan are scheduled to appear at 3:30 p.m. today before United States Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle for an initial appearance as to these charges.

Count one of the indictment charges conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in violation of United States Code Title 18, Sections 1349, 1341, and 1343. It carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine upon conviction, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Counts two through 13 charge mail fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 2. Counts 14 through 36 charge wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343 and 2. Each count of mail or wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, together with three years of supervised release per count.

Counts 37 through 51 each charge the unlawful transportation of interstate securities and carry a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of three years per count.

Count 52 charges conspiracy to launder the proceeds of unlawful activity in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956 (h) and carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the funds or financial instruments involved in the offense, whichever is greater, to be followed with up to three years of supervised release.

Counts 53 through 70 charge conducting financial transactions with unlawful proceeds of mail and wire fraud (money laundering) to promote the commission of that fraudulent activity in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(a)(1)(A)(I) and 2. These counts each carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the funds or financial instruments involved in the offense, whichever is greater, together with up to three years of supervised release.

Counts 71 through 85 charge engaging in monetary transactions with property criminally derived from wire and mail fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1957 and 2. Each of these counts carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the value of the criminally derived property that is the basis of the transaction, whichever is greater, together with up to three years of supervised release.

The indictment also has notice provisions that the United States intends to forfeit various properties and assets of the defendants pursuant to the provisions of Title 18, United States Code, Section 981(a)(1)(C) and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2461(c).

The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations of criminal activity by the government, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case was jointly investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.

Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Sue McKinney, Public Affairs Specialist, United States Attorney’s Office at (478) 621-2601.