An unregistered Minneapolis financial planner Sean Meadows, 41, has been indicted for creating a $10 million Ponzi scheme that victimized at least 50 people, U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew M. Luger announced Tuesday.
Meadows is charged with using his financial planning and asset management firm, Meadows Financial Group, to defraud clients, many of them retirees. Neither Meadows nor the firm is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra), and Meadows has not filed an ADV form with the SEC since 2009.
The indictment charges Meadows with falsely telling clients he would purchase bonds, real estate, or other legitimate third-party investments. Between 2007 and 2014, the indictment says he lured victims into removing funds from their retirement and other savings accounts by promising high rates of returns, usually up to 10 percent annually. He did not invest their funds and did not have a legitimate means of making interest payments, it adds.
He used the funds of new investors to pay existing investors and also to pay for Las Vegas gambling trips, to pay credit cards, to make personal investments in property and to give money to his spouse, Luger says.