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3 charged in Ponzi scheme

May 23, 2009|Bloomberg News

Three California men were charged with running a $200-million Ponzi scheme involving thousands of investors, state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said Friday.

The men used investors' money to finance their estates, jets and cars before their Ponzi scheme collapsed, causing some retired investors to lose their life savings, Brown said. The defendants are James Stanley Koenig, 57, of Redding; Gary T. Armitage, 59, of Healdsburg; and Jeffrey A. Guidi, 54, of Santa Rosa, according to the statement.

The three "created a network of more than 55 business ventures over a period of 10 years to enrich themselves and keep their Ponzi scheme afloat," Brown said.

The men used seminars to attract investments of $50,000 to more than $1 million in real estate projects, Brown said. Some investors turned over their entire retirement portfolios and savings accounts.

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