Federal authorities charged a North Carolina man with operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of over $2 million. John Knox Bridges, 50, of Salisbury, North Carolina, was charged with securities fraud and money laundering in connection with the scheme whose alleged victims included individuals and charitable groups. The charges come nearly a month after Bridges was wounded after a self-inflicted shotgun blast in what police termed an attempted suicide. Bridges was treated for his injuries and had since been discharged.
According to the indictment, Bridges began to solicit investors in 2004 through his company called "Logan Investments". Investors were told that their money would be invested in a Texas oil company that was constructing an oil pipeline, and that investors would receive quarterly dividends. Authorities allege that the quarterly dividends were not paid from oil company profits, but instead from the funds of new investors commingled in Bridges' personal accounts. Victims were later convinced to loan Bridges money when he convinced them his computer had been hacked and $600,000 stolen from his bank account. Bridges was also accused of misappropriating funds in connections with his various positions with charitable organizations.
Bridges entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, and was released on $25,000 bail.