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Certain allegations of criminal activity and a subsequent arrest in Virginia and across the country will elicit an immediate reaction from the media and the public. Others, however, are perceived as less severe because they might not involve violence or an individual victim. These are frequently white collar crimes stemming from a federal investigation. In recent years, the term "Ponzi scheme" has been more recognizable. There are a variety of ways in which a Ponzi scheme can be committed. Those who are alleged as having taken part must make certain that they craft a legal defense immediately.

According to recent reports, two men were arrested on charges that they used a hedge fund to front a Ponzi scheme and swindled those who invested in a business that resold tickets for various events. Included in those events is the popular musical "Hamilton." The men, age 42 and 52, were arrested on charges of wire fraud and securities fraud. In addition, there were separate charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the alleged Ponzi scheme that was worth $81 million.

These charges were filed as one of the men has been emptying his bank accounts and secured his passport. Another man, 48, who ran an alternative investment division at the hedge fund, was arrested and made statements about shooting a person who cooperated with the investigation. The three men were each released on $1 million bond. The money in the hedge fund is said to have had $4.2 million that was misappropriated. Of the $81 million that was raised from the ticket-reselling business, $48 million was utilized for the repayment of those who had previously invested. Other money was allegedly spent on private schools, gambling and jewelry as well as other costs.

Given the connotations of an arrest of a Ponzi scheme and the allegations therein, those who are facing these charges cannot only be confronted with various penalties but also with public scorn. While the allegations are serious, that does not mean they are justified. A person might not have been aware of any criminal activity. Law enforcement might have rushed to judgment without basis. Considering all the negativity in a personal and professional context that white collar crime can lead to, speaking to a lawyer about a defense is imperative.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. brings charges over Ponzi scheme, 'Hamilton' tickets fraud," Jonathan Stempel, Nate Raymond, Jan. 27, 2017

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