Tags: ponzi | schemer | walks away | prison camp | california

$100M Ponzi Schemer Walks Away From California Prison Camp

$100M Ponzi Schemer Walks Away From California Prison Camp
(Mirko Vitali/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 08 December 2017 12:31 PM

A Ponzi schemer behind a $100-million-dollar scam has escaped from a prison in central California after serving five of his 18-year sentence for wire fraud, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud.

Prison officials discovered 55-year-old Frederick Darren Berg was missing from a minimum-security work camp on Wednesday afternoon, The Sacramento Bee reported.

An deputy supervisor in the U.S. Marshal’s office in Fresno told the Seattle Times said Berg was considered a fugitive. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said an internal investigation was being conducted.

Berg was sentenced in 2012 after it was determined he had spent more than $100 million in investment funds for his own benefit and to keep his scheme afloat, using the money to pay off the loans of earlier investors, Time magazine reported. He perpetrated what was thought to be the largest fraud scheme ever in Washington state.

Between 2001 and 2009 he also forked out millions for several yachts, two Lear jets as well as condos and homes.

He was arrested in 2010 in Los Angeles, and pleaded guilty.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer said victims of the decade-long scheme lost at least $120 million.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said in 2012 that Berg’s victims would be forced to drastically alter their lifestyles in wake of the fraud.

Many of them would have to forego retirement, take on additional jobs or sell their homes while others were likely to be “forced into bankruptcy and may also lose their homes,” the Post-Intelligencer said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle pledged on Thursday that Berg would be recaptured.

“More than 800 victims suffered losses from Berg’s schemes – losing dreams of retirement, home ownership or educational opportunities for children and grandchildren,” said spokeswoman Emily Langlie, per the Times. “Darren Berg will be captured, held to account and returned to federal custody.”

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A Ponzi schemer behind a $100-million-dollar scam has escaped from a prison in central California after serving five of his 18-year sentence for wire fraud, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud.
ponzi, schemer, walks away, prison camp, california
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2017-31-08
Friday, 08 December 2017 12:31 PM
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