Woman Sentenced in $3 Million Ponzi Scheme

A California woman was sentenced to one year in jail for her role in a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of at least $3 million.  Gina McGee, 43, had entered an Alford Plea to charges of securities fraud and grand theft earlier this year.  An Alford Plea is a type of plea agreement in which the accused does not admit guilt but acknowledges that the weight of evidence brought by prosecutors is enough to succeed in court.  Because McGee received credit for time served before sentencing, she was released after the plea was approved by the sentencing judge.  McGee will remain under probation for the next eight years.

McGee, along with her husband Glenn K. Jackson, solicited victims to invest in an investment vehicle called Highlands Capital Partners, L.P.  Investors were under the assumption that their funds would be used to trade foreign currencies.  In total, Jackson and McGee received over $3 million from investors, including at least $2.4 million from 11 identified investors.  Nearly half of the money - $1.4 million - was never used to trade foreign currencies and was instead misappropriated by the pair.  Investors became wary when requests for partial or full distributions were refused during the financial downturn in 2008 and 2009.  McGee and Jackson were arrested in June 2010.

As part of her sentence, McGee is required to pay at least 25% of her future income towards restitution to defrauded victims.  Her husband, Jackson, is currently awaiting trial on more than forty counts of securities fraud, grand theft, and conspiracy.