URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Richard Dalton, Marie Dalton Arrested In Atlanta; Colorado Couple Implicated In Bizarre Ponzi Scheme And Will Be Prosecuted In Denver By Special Government Counsel From Kansas

URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: A Colorado husband and wife have been arrested by federal agents in Atlanta and will be returned to Denver to be prosecuted by special government counsel brought in from Kansas, authorities said.

Why special counsel was appointed to oversee the prosecution of Richard and Marie Dalton was not immediately clear. The allegations in the case, which began as an emergency SEC civil prosecution last year reported on here by the PP Blog, are bizarre. The case may be linked to the mysterious, prime-bank allegations against Larry Michael Parrish of Walkerville, Md., which the PP Blog reported on here.

Richard Dalton, 65, and Marie Dalton, 60, reside in Golden, Colo. They have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen funds, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom in the District of Kansas.

Parrish’s name was not referenced today in the announcement by Grissom’s office of the prosecution of the Daltons. In March 2011, the SEC described Parrish as a recidivist swindler with a tie to Richard Dalton. Parrish was accused by the SEC of posing as a concerned financial adviser and investment strategist and visiting a dying man in a Colorado hospital.

The man was suffering from cancer. Parrish assured him that investing with him was safe, that the man’s wife would not have to worry about her finances after his death, that “the investment would provide for his wife for the rest of her life,” the SEC said in March.

“That money is now gone,” the SEC said. And so is the money from 70 other Parrish investors in three states, about $9.2 million in all, the agency said in March.

When the Daltons learned they were under investigation by the SEC, Grissom’s office, the FBI and the IRS said today in a joint statement, they discontinued making payments to investors and falsely represented to investors that they could expect payments soon.

“They also misled investors with false claims that the company’s European trader was switching banks, that the company was liquidating a cache of diamonds to pay investors back, that a plane carrying diamonds had been forced to land in Amsterdam because three engines had gone out and that the company had discovered it was holding 18,000 fake diamonds,” prosecutors said.

The SEC laid out largely the same fact set in November 2010.

“This investigation is not over as we are committed to following the money trail,” said Sean P. Sowards, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “We will continue to pursue the evidence wherever it leads.”

The Dalton caper used a “diamond” theme and had an element known simply as “the Trading Program.” It gathered $17 million through a company known as Universal Consulting Resources LLC (UCR)., investigators said.

“As part of soliciting investors for the Trading Program, Dalton and UCR falsely told prospective investors that their invested funds would be held safely in an escrow account at a bank in the United States, and that a European trader (often referred to simply as ‘the Trader,’ but never known or referred to by name) would use the value of that account, but not the actual funds, to obtain leveraged funds to purchase and sell bank notes,” the SEC charged last year.

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