Affinity-Fraud Victim, 72, Tells Newspaper He ‘Won’t Trust Anybody’ For The Rest Of His Life; Ohio Real-Estate Ponzi Scheme That Spread By Word-Of-Mouth Was Discovered After Suicide Of Church ‘Praise Band’ Member

UPDATED 9:47 A.M. EDT (U.S.A.) A 72-year-old man and his 60-year-old wife built up a $400,000 retirement nest egg through hard work over decades at a cosmetics factory — only to see it consumed in a real-estate Ponzi scheme operated by two church members, including one who killed himself when the scheme was unraveling, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports on

The story provides some details about other local Ponzi schemes, but focuses on the scheme operated by the late Dave Colwell and his business partner, James “Jamie” Powell. Ninety-one people, including retirees now in their sixties, seventies and eighties, were ensnared in the scam, according to the newspaper.

Colwell, a member of the church “praise band,” was found slumped over the guardrail of an Indiana causeway. The weapon with which he killed himself was found by police divers in the frigid water below, the newspaper reported.

“Colwell and Powell employed nearly every one of the most common schemes used to separate investors from their money,” the newspaper reported. “Colwell wasn’t even supposed to be selling securities; he had lost his securities license three years earlier.”

Powell is in federal prison.

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