Clayton Man Suspected in $35 Million Ponzi Scheme
Federal authorities have linked a Clayton man to a
Ponzi scheme involving nearly $35 million. Bryan Coats has been named in the complaint
filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the U.S. District
Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
Also named in the complaint were Mr. Coat’s firms, Genesis Wealth Management, Coats Estate Planning Services and Coats Wealth Management. Federal authorities, along with two other defendants, froze Mr. Coat’s assets. The move by federal authorities will also prohibit Mr. Coats and his colleagues from destroying any books and records related to the case.
However, Mr. Coat’s attorney claims that his client, along with other investors, was defrauded in the multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. The Ponzi scheme allegedly involved a foreign currency exchange scam. Supposedly, the defendants accepted nearly $35 million from at least 240 unsuspecting investors.
The other defendants include Keith F. Simmons of West Jefferson, Jonathan Davey of Newark, Ohio, and Deanna and Lawrence Salazar of Yucca Valley, California.
Mr. Simmons is the alleged architect of the investment scam and was convicted of money laundering and fraud in December. Ms. Salazar pleaded guilty in December to investment fraud conspiracy and tax evasion.