Miami man Charged in $1.3 Million Ponzi Scheme

A Miami man with a previous conviction for attempted murder was charged last week with operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded friends and family out of $1.3 million.  Scott Siegal, previously known as Michael Scott Segal, was indicted on twelve counts of mail and wire fraud.  Each charge carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, along with criminal monetary penalties.

According to the indictment, Siegal founded Bright Jewel Holdings several months after being released from serving a seven-year prison sentence for attempted murder.  Starting in November 2008, the company purported to purchase consumer goods from China at a discount which were then resold in the United States for a substantial profit.  Siegal also represented to potential investors that he was involved in a real-estate deal in China and engaged in a partnership with a Venezuelan company to sell cargo-container locks.  Yet, according to prosecutors, none of these representations were true.  Instead, Siegel concealed his past criminal convictions, and used investor funds to sustain a lavish lifestyle that included expensive cars and a $5.5 million house.  

Siegal is currently being held on $600,000 bond.