What group of people did Reed E. Slatkin claim were pressuring him to run a Ponzi scheme in September 2003?
Reed E. Slatkin was a Santa Barbara money manager and Scientologist whose Ponzi scheme netted almost $600 million, making it one of the largest on record. Slatkin claimed at his trial that he should earn a reduced sentence because Church of Scientology leaders had strong-armed him into continuing the swindle in order to profit from it. Despite Slatkin's claim that he had acted out of "duress and diminished capacity," the judge didn't buy it, and he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
SOURCE: Reed Slatkin Given 14-Year Prison Term | Los Angeles Times