Dawn Bennett Sentenced to 20 years in Prison for $20 Million Ponzi Scheme
According to reports, on Wednesday in a federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, former financial advisor and radio personality Dawn J. Bennett was sentenced to 20 years in prison — one year for every million dollars she allegedly stole in a Ponzi scheme.
As we told you in October, Bennett, 56, was reportedly convicted on all 17 counts in her indictment including charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud after a two-week trial in Maryland.
Prosecutors allege Bennett used money that people had invested in her luxury sportswear company to finance her lavish lifestyle, cosmetic and anti-aging medical procedures, astrological gems, and religious voodoo rituals in India.
Bennett allegedly used promissory notes to raise more than $20 million from at least 46 investors in her company, DJBennett.com, according to prosecutors.
According to an article in the Washington Post, Bennett “told clients from her brokerage business they would get a 15 percent return on their loans if they invested in her new sportswear company, according to trial testimony. She told them they could have their money back at any time.”
In May 2015, Bennett’s company reportedly obtained a $750,000 line of credit, telling the bank her portfolio had a net worth of more than $4 million, federal prosecutors said. Instead, the actual value, according to prosecutors, was $35.
The judge ordered Bennett to pay $14.5 million in restitution and forfeit $14,306,842 in addition to the 20 year sentence.
Dawn Bennett Ponzi Scheme – Investors may have claims.
The White Law Group has represented many of Dawn Bennett’s clients and continues to investigate the liability that her FINRA registered employer, Western International Securities, may have for failure to properly supervise her during her time with the firm as well as its failure to warn firm customers about Dawn Bennett after she left the firm.
Those claims generally allege breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, unsuitability in high-risk investments and failure to warn.
Brokerage firms are required to properly supervise all advisors they employ and to ensure that those advisors are complying with applicable FINRA rules and regulations. If these allegations can be proven and if it can be demonstrated that Bennett’s former employer failed to properly supervise her, her employer may be held responsible for the losses in a FINRA arbitration claim.
If you have suffered losses investing with Dawn Bennett please call the securities attorneys at The White Law Group for a free consultation at (888)637-5510.
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 Franklin, Tennessee.
We represent investors in FINRA arbitration claims in all 50 states, including Maryland. Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars from many brokerage firms in the past, including Western International Securities.
For more information on The White Law Group and its representation of investors in FINRA arbitration claims, please visit https://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.