An Arizona man who spent nearly 7 years in federal prison for a $64 million Ponzi scheme is headed back to prison after pleading guilty to cactus theft. Kenneth Cobb, 46, admitted to stealing eight saguaro cacti from Arizona federal land, and pled guilty in September to plead guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count of violation of the Endangered Species Act. According to the agreed-upon sentence, Cobb will not only spend weekends in jail for the next eight months, but spend five years on probation and pay $32,000 in restitution.
Cobb was involved in a "world-wide" Ponzi scheme that brought in over $64 million from investors that was uncovered in the early 2000's. While not the ringleader of the scheme, he admitted that he acted as a promoter and sought to "bring as much money to the table as possible to line everyone's pockets. He was sentenced in 2001 to a 78-month prison term, and also ordered to pay $23 million in restitution.
Since being released from prison, Cobb apparently took a fancy to the Arizona saguaro cactus, stealing eight cacti that he then resold for $2,000 apiece to locations as far away as Austria. Cactus theft is apparently a serious problem in Arizona