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Texas Ponzi Man Gets|12 Years in Prison

FORT WORTH (CN) - A Fort Worth man was sentenced Wednesday to 12½ years in federal prison for preying on the elderly in a $2 million investment fraud.

Eric Matthew Dickey, 47, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in October 2011.

U.S. District Judge Terry Means sentenced him to 151 months in prison and ordered him to pay $1.24 million in restitution to his victims.

Dickey posed as a Certified Financial Planner and solicited investments by falsely promising to buy FDIC-insured certificates of deposit at a 3.75% guaranteed annual percentage yield, court documents states. But the investments did not exist - Dickey put the money into his checking accounts.

Dickey made more than $2 million from the scam, which targeted elderly victims, prosecutors said.

"To further his fraud, give the impression of a legitimate financial transaction, and to entice victims into 'investing' more money, after depositing their money, Dickey provided victims with fraudulent documents purporting to be receipts for the purchase of the CDs," prosecutors in a statement.

"In addition, Dickey paid prior investors with money received from recent investors, giving the appearance of legitimate financial returns on their investment" - a classic Ponzi scheme.


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