Ponzi Scheme

Courtesy of the US Attorney's Office of the Western District of North Carolina

An Ohio man has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a North Carolina based Ponzi scheme. He’s also been ordered to pay more than $20 million in restitution.

Public Document

It’s a scheme that goes by many names like the Pyramid and the Matrix. Historically, it was called the “Peter-to-Paul.” We know it best as a Ponzi scheme. And a surprising number of these cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office here in Charlotte.

Two of the people behind an $850 million Ponzi scheme are due in federal court in Charlotte this week. They're pleading guilty for their roles in defrauding investors worldwide, including more than 1,500 in the Charlotte area.

Guilty Pleas Due In ZeekRewards Scam

Feb 2, 2014

The first guilty pleas are due this week in a massive North Carolina-based Ponzi scheme. Dawn Wright Olivares was the high-profile face of ZeekRewards, an online company that promised big returns on a small investment.  As the company's former chief operating officer, she promoted the investment at public events and in interviews, calling it a great way to make money. 

Charlotte Investors Victim Of $44M Ponzi Scheme

Dec 19, 2013

A Statesville man is indicted on charges of operating a $44 million dollar Ponzi scheme that defrauded over 200 people since 2007.

Daniel Williford faces five federal counts of money laundering following an FBI investigation.

Fifty-five-year-old Daniel Williford doesn't fit the image of someone who runs a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. He owns a middle-class four-bedroom home in Statesville, valued at about $200,000. He's a former airline pilot who went into the computer business for himself about 20 years ago.