Federal regulators announced Tuesday that they have charged a Minneapolis money manager and a Burnsville radio personality with running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 1,000 people out of more than $190 million in a bogus currency investment scheme.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued statements about separate lawsuits the agencies filed Monday in Minneapolis that were made public Tuesday.
The agencies said they had obtained emergency orders freezing the assets held by “self-proclaimed” money manager Trevor Cook, 37, of Apple Valley, and conservative radio talk show host Patrick Kiley, 71, of Burnsville, as well as four of their business entities and 13 “relief defendants” related to the alleged scheme, including two of Cook’s in-laws.
Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis in Minneapolis issued the order freezing the assets of the defendants and appointing a receiver to oversee them. He scheduled a hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction in the matter for Dec. 4. According to the complaints, Cook and Kiley sold unregistered investments through shell companies and misled investors into thinking their money would be held in separate accounts and used to trade in foreign currencies. They promised returns of 10 to 12 percent and said there was no risk to their capital, which could be withdrawn anytime.