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June 15, 11

NEWS / Plymouth Man Charged in Connection with Trevor Cook Ponzi Scheme


MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 54-year-old Plymouth man was charged, via an Information, with lending credibility to and ultimately persuading others to invest in a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Trevor Cook. Christopher Pettengill was specifically charged with one count of securities fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of money laundering.

Allegedly, from February through September of 2008, Pettengill knowingly concealed information from investors concerning the foreign currency program sold by Pettengill, Cook, and others called the Oxford Entities Currency Program. While concealing that vital information, Pettengill allegedly continued to secure millions of dollars in investment assets from investors while assuring them that the investments involved little or no risk. In addition, Pettengill allegedly conducted numerous wire transfers during the course of the conspiracy, and on September 3, 2008, he allegedly made a credit card payment of $11,369.19, which was derived from the proceeds of the securities fraud.

If convicted, Pettengill faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison on the money laundering charge, five years for securities fraud, and five years for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge. In August of 2010, Cook was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison for orchestrating the scam. On March 22, 2011, co-defendant Jon Jason Greco was charged with two counts of making false statements to federal agents in relation to the case.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tracy L. Perzel.

This law enforcement action is in part sponsored by the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. It includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

http://www.fbi.gov/minneapolis/press-releases/2011/plymouth-man-charged-in-connection-with-trevor-cook-ponzi-scheme

Tags: criminal investigation,
 




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