Fox Lake Man Gets 4.5 Years for Ponzi Scheme

Joseph A. Dawson, of Fox Lake, Illinois, was sentenced this week to four-and-a-half years in prison for his role in a $3.3 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded approximately two dozen investors ("Man sentenced to 4 years for $3.3M Ponzi scheme," Sun-Times Media Wire, March 9, 2011).
Dawson was charged in August of last year with engaging in a Ponzi-like scheme and misappropriating $1 million of investor funds for his own purposes, according to an Aug. 17, 2010release by the Department of Justice. He was also accused of misrepresenting key facts of the investments and distributing falsified account statements to investors.
According to the release, Dawson, a commodity futures and securities trader, was the owner of LEAP Fund and Dawson Trading, LLC. From 2004 through mid-2009, Dawson sold 26 investors approximately $3.7 million worth of guaranteed investments in Dawson Trading, which were primarily promissory notes. In addition to a safety guarantee, the notes promised fixed rates of return plus a high percentage of the trading profits. Investor loses were close to $3 million.
In addition to his prison sentence, Dawson is required to forfeit $3.3 million. He will begin serving his sentence on June 15, 2011.


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