A 73-year-old conservative talk show host, Patrick Kiley, who has been indicted along with others in connection with a Ponzi scheme that allegedly involved $194 million in investors' money, says he was merely reading from a script on his radio show when he purported to be a financial expert.
Kiley, of Burnsville, Minn., and Jason Bo-Alan Beckman, 41, of Plymouth, and Gerald Joseph Durand, 60, of Faribault, are charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering among other counts in an indictment unsealed July 20, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota.
The indictment is part of an ongoing case where the prime organizer, Trevor Cook, a financial advisor, and Christopher Pettengill organized a Ponzi scheme involving 700 investors and $194 million. The investors were guaranteed double-digit returns, promised they would never lose their investments and told they could withdraw their money at any time. Cook has been sentenced to 300 months in jail and Pettengill is awaiting sentencing.
Kiley's involvement came through his radio show broadcast on the Worldwide Christian Radio network called "Follow the Money" that was carried on more than 200 stations. He claims he was reading from a script when he told his audience he was a senior financial advisor. He also said he believed in the currency investment program promoted by Cook, a long-time friend. He invited listeners to call him and he spent time advising them to invest in the scheme, which took place between 2005 and 2009, according to the Attorney General's office.
Some of the investment entities were marketed under the name Universal Brokerage Services, or UBS, which led to a copyright infringement law suit filed by UBS, AG.
That money included $68 million that was lost in high risk trading, $52 million paid to victim investors as purported returns, and $30 million used for business and personal expenses, as well as investments for Cook and others.