Ponzi Scheme Victim Arrested After Allegedly Attacking Schemer, Threatening to Cut Off Fingers and Toes
A Florida man is in jail after authorities say he attacked the woman who conned him through a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. Adam Pollock, the owner of Kokopelli's Gym and Fitness Center in Longwood, Florida, was arrested after an encounter at his gym with Tina Mangiardi, a former model who admitted earlier this week to masterminding a Ponzi scheme that duped investors out of millions of dollars. Pollock is being held without bond on multiple charges, including felony battery by strangulation, kidnapping/false imprisonment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and battery. Ironically, if convicted, it is possible that Pollock's sentence could exceed that handed down to Mangiardi.
News broke last week that Mangiardi would plead guilty to charges of mail and wire fraud in a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Several days later, Mangiardi appeared at Pollock's gym, which advertises itself as a "Thai Kickboxing" gym specializing in "No Holds Barred Fighting". According to Mangiardi, she showed up to pay a debt to Pollock. However, once she entered the gym, she alleged that Pollock put on a pair of black gloves and brandished a knife, threatening to cut off her fingers and toes as collateral for his investment. Pollock also admitted to pushing Mangiardi, adding that he also may have slapped her. Mangiardi fled, as evidenced by surveillance video captured by WFTV 9:
Mangiardi, a former model and single mother, solicited potential investors to invest in "bid bonds" for various Orlando-area projects, including restaurant chains, local hospitals, and even Disney. A bid bond, which is not considered investment grade, are used to guarantee the financial viability and amount of a bid given by a construction company, and are typically issued by insurers. In return for this authentication, the contractor usually must pay a small fee to the insurance company. Mangiardi explained that she could double or triple investors' money within weeks, and lured investors by stressing her strong Christian faith and explaining that her gender would allow her to qualify as a minority in bidding for government contracts. Based on these promises, Mangiardi raised millions of dollars from at least 40 Orlando-area victims. Many of these victims, according to authorities, were male business associates.
However, as admitted last week, this was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, with Mangiardi using new investor funds to pay older investors.