Guilty Plea in $80M ATM Ponzi Scheme

(CN) – A North Carolina man scammed investors of $80 million for automatic teller machines he had not actually bought. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney said it will accept a plea bargain under which Vance Moore II pleads guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy. Moore faces up to 200 years in prison, disgorgement of $50 million, and a $2.5 million fine.




     According to the plea agreement, Moore told investors they could place ATM machines in retail outlets across the country and investors would make money from the withdrawal fees. But 90 percent of the 4,000 ATMs Moore claimed to have bought, and sold, did not exist or were not in his possession, prosecutors said
     Moore sent fake monthly statements and Ponzi payments to investors from 2005 to 2008.
     The scheme began unraveling in the fall of 2006, when an investor went to a Florida hotel to see the ATM machine he had bought. The hotel staff told there was no such machine; Moore told him he had moved it.
     “Vance Moore treated his victims like cash machines,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “He repeatedly lied to them in order to steal their hard-earned funds pretending to purchase ATM machines that in fact didn’t exist.”
     Vance agreed to forfeit $50 million and properties in North Carolina and Florida.

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