September 20, 2012
An Albuquerque man is sentenced to 12 years in prison for running the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of New Mexico.
Mollie Halpern: An Albuquerque man is sentenced to 12 years in prison for running the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of New Mexico.
David Backlund: There was no legitimate aspect to his investment program. It was just a complete fraud.
Halpern: I’m Mollie Halpern of the FBI. Douglas Vaughan, who ran what was once the largest independent real estate brokerage in the state, marketed his Deed of Trust program as a risk-free real estate investment. Instead, Vaughan fraudulently obtained more than $74 million from about 600 investors across the country. FBI case agent David Backlund…
Backlund: The really disgusting thing about this Ponzi scheme was that he targeted friends and he used family to recruit new investors. Worse yet is that a lot of the money that came in was retirement money from senior citizens, which they’re never going to get back.
Halpern: Through a computer forensic evaluation, investigators discovered thousands of Vaughan’s voicemails that had been downloaded to his computer.
Backlund: They were pretty egregious because you would hear investors either begging for their money or being led to believe that this was a legitimate investment.
Halpern: This has been Gotcha, the FBI’s closed case of the week.
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