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CU serving churches among Ponzi scheme victims
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (10/12/10)--A Southfield, Mich.-based investment adviser has been indicted on felony bank fraud and wire fraud charges related to an elaborate Ponzi scheme that stole $10 million from investors that included a local union, state municipalities, a school district, and a credit union serving churches. According to federal prosecutors, Dante DeMiro, 43, founder and managing director of MuniVest Financial Group and MuniVest Services LLC, allegedly promised clients he would buy millions of dollars in certificates of deposit but instead alleged used the funds to make loans to a jewelry store and repay earlier investors (The Detroit News and mlive.com Oct. 8). Ponzi schemes are a fraudulent practice in which funds paid by later investors are used to pay off earlier investors. The indictment said the scheme had run since at least March 2009. The credit union was not named in the report. Other victims included taxpayers of Lapeer County, Mich., Mona Shores Public Schools in Muskegon, schools in Comstock Township near Kalamazoo, and Boiler Makers Local 169 in Allen Park, Mich. (The Detroit News Oct. 8). If convicted, DeMiro faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted of bank fraud, plus 20 years and $250,000 if convicted of wire fraud.
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