A Colorado grand jury recently indicted an Illinois woman and a Georgia man in connection with a cattle Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of around $650 million.
Reva Joyce Stachniw, 69, of Illinois, and Ron Throgmartin, 57, of Georgia, were charged with running a Ponzi scheme from late 2017 to 2019, along with a third co-conspirator, Mark Ray, according to court documents. Ray was previously charged for his role in an Illinois Court in February 2020.
According to a news release from the Department of Justice:
“Stachniw, Throgmartin, and other co-conspirators solicited hundreds of millions of dollars from victim-investors throughout the United States. Most often, the conspirators fraudulently represented to victim-investors that their investments were backed by short-term investments in cattle. They also used false and fraudulent pretenses to solicit money from victim-investors for the conspirators’ Colorado-based marijuana business, Universal Herbs LLC. Other victim-investors gave the conspirators money based on false promises that investment money would be used for legitimate business activity related to cattle or marijuana, without having the investment money linked to specific investment opportunities.”
“In all three variations of the conspirators’ investment fraud scheme, victim-investors were promised returns of approximately 10% to 20% over periods as short as several weeks. At no point did Stachniw, Throgmartin, or Ray tell victim-investors that they were primarily using their money to repay other investors in a Ponzi-style investment scheme, or to enrich themselves. Stachniw and Throgmartin allegedly received millions of dollars from the scheme, despite putting little to none of their own money into it.”
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