Man pleads guilty for ponzi scheme involvement

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GavelSan Diego,Ca- A 44-year-old man pleaded guilty today to being part

of an investment fraud conspiracy that bilked victims out of more than $2

million.

Douglas Ellingson admitted that between April 2008 and September 2012,

he conspired with others to mislead victims about the nature and security of

their investments, and would convince them to wire money into one of the

several accounts he controlled, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ellingson wired almost all the funds to another man, who said he was

sending them to a partner who would use them in various business deals.

Ellingson pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy before Magistrate

Judge Bernard G. Skomal. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 28 and faces

up to five years in custody, a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss

resulting from the offense.

While entering his plea, Ellingson said that he and a co-defendant

conspired with another man to solicit investors in his business by promising

their investments would be secured by valuable minerals obtained by a mining

company.

However that company had not begun operations and had no liquid assets,

authorities said. Ellingson later told victims that the funds they invested

would never produce a loss and their investments would be backed by another

company.

Ellingson also enticed victims to hand over their funds by promising

they would be used to support charitable causes, according to the U.S.

Attorney’s Office. The victims did not receive profits of a return on their

investments.

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