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6 Charged With Washington Area Ponzi Scheme

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged six people with a scheme to defraud approximately 130 investors of more than $27 million.

The SEC alleges that Bethesda, Md., resident Garfield Taylor and five others lured investors into what the investors thought were low-risk investments, urging them to refinance their homes and promising returns as high as 20 percent per year. Instead, however, authorities charge Taylor and his companies engaged in high-risk and speculative trading and that led to massive losses. He also allegedly took $5 million in investor funds to pay family and friends and for personal use.

The scheme allegedly took place from 2005 to 2010, when it collapsed.

Five other individuals were charged along with Taylor, including family members. An apparent phone listing for Taylor’s company was disconnected.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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