Minnesota Financial Advisors Sentenced Over Ponzi Scheme

Monday, January 7th, 2013

According to reports, three major players behind Minnesota’s second-largest Ponzi scheme were recently sentenced to a total of 57 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $155 million in restitution.

Jason “Bo” Beckman, described as a kingpin, received 30 years in prison. Co-conspirator Gerald Durand got 20 years. And Christopher Pettengill, who testified for the prosecution against his former colleagues, got 7 1/2 years.

The sentencing of a fourth defendant, Patrick Kiley, was postponed after Kiley spoke for nearly an hour, dropping a bombshell at the end by accusing his attorney of misconduct.

A number of victims reportedly testified at the sentencing hearing about the devastation the scheme caused on their finances.

Prosecutors called it the worst scam in state because the people targeted by the con men were primarily in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

The root of the scheme was a complicated currency investment program allegedly concocted by Burnsville money manager Trevor Cook and operated through Cook’s currency trading firm, Oxford Global Advisors. (Cook previously pleaded guilty and is serving a 25-year prison term.)

Although restitution was part of the sentencing, it is unlikely that the victims will receive their losses back from these individuals.  As such, The White Law Group is investigating other avenues of recovery.

Specifically, the firm is investigating the liability that the employers of these defendants may have for failure to properly supervise these individuals.  When a FINRA affiliated broker conducts business outside of the firm with whom he is registered the activity may be considered “selling away.” If a registered broker “sells away” from his firm, the brokerage firm may still be liable for negligent supervision of their broker representative and may be responsible for investment losses in a FINRA dispute resolution claim.

To the extent that any of the individuals that solicited investments in this scheme were affiliated with a FINRA registered broker dealer at the time of the solicitation, that brokerage firm may be liable for the losses incurred.

If you are a victim of this Ponzi scheme, please call the securities attorneys of The White Law Group at 312-238-9650 for a free consultation.

The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, please visit the firm’s website at http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.

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