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Friday, May 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Minn. Judge Jails Ponzi Operator for Contempt

(CN) - A federal judge on Monday ordered Minneapolis-area resident Trevor G. Cook jailed for refusing to surrender more than $35 million in assets -- including a submarine -- that he got from a Ponzi scheme. Cook was taken from the courtroom to jail for contempt of court, and Chief Judge Michael Davis ordered him to stay there until he coughs it up.

The SEC asked the court in January to hold Cook in contempt. Judge Davis ordered Cook to stay in the slammer until he, "until he, among other things, surrenders $27 million located in offshore accounts, a BMW and two Lexus automobiles, a submarine, a houseboat, a collection of expensive watches, a collection of Faberge eggs, Bon Jovi concert tickets, and $670,000 in cash," the Justice Department said in a statement.

The SEC obtained an order freezing Cook's assets in November 2009. He is accused, with nationally syndicated radio host Pat Kiley of running a $190 million foreign currency trading scam. The SEC also sued four companies the men controlled.

The men lost millions of dollars in the forex trades they did do, and used about half of the money they got to make Ponzi payments and buy stuff, prosecutors said.

Cook lost a lot of investors' money gambling and used some of it to buy the historic Van Dusen Mansion in Minneapolis, prosecutors said.

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