Jeff Smith noon, March 8
This Ponzi Scheme Promised 5% to 8% a Month
Steven Bartko was sentenced today (April 16) to two years in prison for still another San Diego special: a Ponzi scheme. Bartko, telling investors he provided circuit boards and electronic parts to government contractors, promised monthly returns of 5% to 8%, says the U.S. Attorney's office. That's 5% to 8% A MONTH. He took in more than $5 million, creating false invoices to reassure investors, if you can call anybody expecting 5% to 8% a month an "investor." He also filed phony tax returns, says the government.
Also today, the U.S. Attorney's office unsealed an 18-count indictment charging ten individuals with running a mortgage fraud scheme -- also common in San Diego. Dana Merritt (aka Dana Hayden), Stacey Jones, and Abigail Gonzalez created two El Cajon companies to process fraudulent loan applications that the other seven used to purchase properties, according to the government. It was a $10 million fraud, says the U.S. Attorney's office.