Before Resting, Prosecution Uses Defendants’ Promotional Materials
Against Them in $194M Cook Ponzi Scheme Case
The trial against three of convicted Ponzi schemer Trevor Cook’s
alleged co-conspirators intensified late last week when federal prosecutors
began to use the defendants’ own promotional audio and videotapes
against them in court.
According to John Welbes at the
Twin Cities Pioneer Press, the tapes show the defendants making a number of false claims and
Additionally, the dates of the tapes indicate that the defendants may have
continued to push their currency-trading program even after they were
advised that their program was riddled with illegalities.
In particular, one tape shows defendant Gerald Durand telling potential
investors that he had experience managing “institutional money.”
The prosecution contends Durand’s statement is entirely false.
Another tape shows defendant Jason “Bo” Beckman pitching the
so-called benefits of the defendants’ currency-trading program to
investors. The tape was made in late 2008, after Beckman’s attorney
allegedly had advised him of the program’s legal problems.
The $194 million
Ponzi scheme, orchestrated by Cook, collapsed in 2009. Charges were filed against the
defendants (Durand, Beckman, and
Christian Radio Host Patrick “Pat” Kiley) in 2011.
Together, Beckman, Durand, and Kiley face more than 30 criminal counts,
including various counts of wire and mail fraud, money laundering, and
conspiracy. Cook is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.
For more information on the prosecution’s case, read Welbes’