An Oregon man was arrested and charged with operating a Ponzi scheme that cost its victims over $1 million. Allen Leroy Kayser, 60, was arrested by Oregon state police and charged with nine counts of securities fraud, five counts of first-degree theft, two counts of racketeering, and selling unregistered securities. He has since pled not guilty.
In early 2006, Kayser began placing ads in several Oregon newspapers soliciting investors. He represented that he was in the business of purchasing and refurbishing foreclosed homes, and profiting from their later resale. Investors were guaranteed an annual return of 15% to 17.5%. While Kayser apparently first conducted a legitimate operation, mounting losses forced him to use money from new investors to pay returns to old investors in order to perpetuate the scheme. Authorities estimate that at least 9 investors entrusted more than $1 million to Kayser.
Kayser is currently being held on $500,000 bail. A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for January 9.
This post was edited on January 6, 2012.