Guilty Plea in St. Louis Ponzi Scheme

A Belleville, Missouri man pled guilty to running a 20-year Ponzi scheme that cost victims $2.4 million.  Edward Lynn Moskop, 63, entered guilty pleas to one charge of mail fraud and one charge of money laundering.  Each charge carries a a maximum prison sentence of twenty years, along with fines.  Federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence between 70 and 85 months.  

Moskop originally operated Financial Services Moskop and Associates until 1990 when he was barred from selling securities.  From that point, he held himself out to prospective clients as a broker, promising returns from investments in various mutual funds of certificates of deposit.  Instead, prosecutors allege, Moskop deposited investor funds in his personal bank account and did not purchase any securities.  Over the course of the scheme, Moskop paid nearly $1 million to investors as purported interest payments.  Authorities estimate that seventeen investors lost $1.4 million when the scheme collapsed.

Moskop is due to be sentenced November 18, 2011.