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Guilty plea in Ponzi scheme

March 28, 2009|TIMES STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

An Orange County man pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges related to a long-running Ponzi scheme in which he defrauded more than 200 victims out of at least $15 million, authorities said.

John Anthony Miller, 51, a San Clemente resident, also pleaded guilty to bribery and passport fraud, for attempting to pay a bribe to obtain a false passport so that he could flee the country.

Miller operated the scheme through two Newport Beach-based investment companies, JAM Jr. Enterprises and Forte Financial Partners. He promised investors guaranteed annual returns of between 10% and 18% and used new investors' money to pay off earlier investors, said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.

Miller is scheduled to be sentenced July 20. He faces a maximum sentence of 47 years in federal prison.

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