BULLETIN: Christopher Pettengill Pleads Guilty In Trevor Cook Ponzi Scheme

BULLETIN: Christopher Pettengill, a figure in the $194 million Trevor Cook Ponzi scheme, has pleaded guilty in Minneapolis to securities fraud, money-laundering and conspiracy, the FBI said.

Read Breaking News coverage in the Star Tribune, which is reporting that Pettengill says he has been cooperating with federal investigators since January.

Pettengill, 54, of Plymouth, Minn., was charged criminally on June 13. He potentially faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Cook is serving a 25-year sentence. Pettengill conceivably could be sentenced to a prison term shorter than 20 years, depending on his level of cooperation and his ability to persuade a federal judge that he deserves less time behind bars.

Part of the Cook scheme traded on the acronymn UBS, a famous financial company, according to court records.

It is common in the fraud universe for hucksters and criminals to leech off the brands of famous companies and to use famous names to sanitize fraud schemes.

The Cook scheme also traded on the name “Oxford.” Some of the money ended up in  a company known as Crown Forex, which had a regal theme.

Cook, former radio host Pat Kiley, and Jason Bo-Alan Beckman have been sued by the SEC. Cook and Kiley also confront a lawsuit from the CFTC.

Jon Jason Greco, 40, of Minneapolis, was charged criminally in March with making false statements to federal agents. Greco was accused of hiding loot from the scheme.


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