Crime and Punishment

How to get investors to hand over $40M: Southern charm

Investors hand over $40 million

Why would investors hand over millions to this woman?

For starters, she had a legitimate tax and accounting business, and hundreds of clients who trusted her to invest their money. She piled on the Southern charm. But when the numbers began to not add up, the feds went undercover.

Investors in total turned over about $40 million. But most of that money furnished a lavish lifestyle, according to Frank Dale, assistant U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee.

"She was telling people that it was an investment where they could not lose money," Dale said.

He added that many investors were duped in a classic Ponzi scheme. Many victims, Dale said, lost their life savings, college funds and even their homes.

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