Diane Siskey, the widow of Charlotte Ponzi scheme operator Richard Siskey, has reached an interim agreement to turn over $15 million in insurance money. Under the agreement reached between Siskey and a court-appointed trustee reviewing victim claims, most of the money would go toward partial payments to victims in the scheme and to administrative expenses.
Attorney Charles Monnett says victims are owed about $50 million. Monnett represents some of those victims and called the agreement a good first step.
“The trustee has had an agreement with Diane and her attorneys for about a year now that 37.5 million dollars has been held in an escrow account,” Monnett said. “So I think it’s great that some of that money is gonna finally be returned to the people it really belongs to and that is the investors who lost their money in the Ponzi scheme.”
Richard Siskey was under investigation by the FBI and accused of using millions of dollars of investors' money to support a lavish lifestyle, that included a mansion in South Park, expensive cars and jewelry. A few days after finding out he was being investigated for fraud, Siskey committed suicide in December 2016. The Siskey estate went to auction last July, attracting a large crowd.
Diane Siskey received $47 million in insurance money after her husband’s death and has pledged to give some of that money to victims of the Ponzi scheme. None have received any of the funds they invested thus far.
Monnett says the agreement the trustee negotiated will give his clients and other investors about 25 percent to 30 percent of the money they invested with Siskey. He adds that the case is far from over.
“What this will do is give some of these investors who are truly desperate, money they can use to live on while the rest of the case works its way through the bankruptcy court. We’re not going to be satisfied until at least $47.5 million is made available to pay creditor claims,” Monnett said.
Monnett says the agreement makes it clear that claims to recover additional funds can still be pursued in court.