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Ponzi Schemer Did It Again, SEC Says

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - Richard Higgins, a jailed and disbarred lawyer and felon, took $15 million from investors by promising 1 percent monthly returns on unregistered securities in Madison Real Estate Group, the SEC claims in Federal Court. It says Higgins and his cohorts failed to pay mortgages, owe "hundreds of thousands of dollars to vendors," and let the overappraised buildings go to ruin, while pocketing fees in the Ponzi scheme.

The SEC also sues Higgins' son, Brandon Higgins, 30, of Salt Lake City, and Allan Christensen, 39, of Salem, Utah.

Richard Higgins, 60, is in Utah state prison in Draper. He and his cohorts claimed that Madison had a 30-year track record of successful real estate investments and more than $100 million in quarterly revenue, but it was all booshwah, the SEC says. "Higgins, Brandon, and Christensen also failed to inform investors that Higgins had previously been enjoined by the Commission, had been disbarred by the Utah State Bar and is a convicted felon," the complaint states. He solicited investors in Madison while he was on parole and under injunction, it states.

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