Attorney Gets Three|Years for Giant Ponzi

     KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – A Kansas attorney was sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay $34 million in restitution for his role in a $52 million Ponzi scheme.
     James Scott Brown, 67, of Leawood, pleaded guilty in September 2011 to conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud.
     Prosecutors said investors loaned $52.5 million to a Ponzi scheme known as the British Lending Program, between 2000 and 2010.
     Victims thought they were loaning money for legitimate real estate development projects in England, but Brown and Martin Sigillito skimmed some and doled out some as Ponzi payments.
     Sigillito, 63, of Webster Groves, was convicted at trial of leading the conspiracy. He awaits sentencing.
     Derek J. Smith, 68, of Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom, pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and awaits sentencing.
     Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Missouri, where Sigillito was prosecuted, called it the largest Ponzi scheme ever in that district.

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