Legisi HYIP Pitchman Matthew John Gagnon Pleads Guilty, Admits He Didn’t Disclose ‘Touting’ Compensation Of More Than $1 Million And Caused More Than $7 Million In Losses

Matthew John Gagnon

Matthew John Gagnon

Legisi HYIP Ponzi-scheme pitchman Matthew John Gagnon has pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Michigan to a criminal charge of not disclosing he’d been paid more than $1 million by Legisi and its operator Gregory N. McKnight to tout the “program” online.

In a plea agreement now public after being fashioned in October and November, Gagnon admitted he’d caused more than $7 million in losses to more than 50 Legisi investors. Legisi gathered about $72 million and collapsed in 2008, according to court filings.

Legisi was promoted on Ponzi-scheme forums such as TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup. Gagnon, who was accused of willful blindness and potentially faces up to five years in federal prison when sentenced in May, pitched the “program” through Mazu.com. The MoneyMakerGroup forum is specifically referenced in an evidence exhibit in the Legisi case.

In the agreement, Gagnon admitted he touted Legisi as a “winner” and “not a scam.” On any given day, any number of hucksters make the same claims about any number of “programs” on the Ponzi boards. Willful blindness — in no small measure — drives the scams.

Legisi’s Terms of Service sought to make members affirm they were not an “informant, nor associated with any informant” of the IRS, FBI, CIA and the SEC, among other agencies, according to documents filed in federal court. McKnight, like Gagnon, faces sentencing in May. Prosecutors have sought a 15-year term for McKnight.

Both McKnight and Gagnon also face millions of dollars in civil judgments that flowed from a case brought by the SEC in 2008. The U.S. Secret Service and state authorities in Michigan also investigated Legisi.

Prosecutors recommended a three-level sentencing reduction for Gagnon, noting he has accepted responsibility for his role in the scam and has assisted authorities.

U.S. District District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith is scheduled to sentence Gagnon on May 7.

Zeek Rewards, an alleged $600 million Ponzi- and pyramid fraud, also was touted on the MoneyMakerGroup and TalkGold forums. The SEC brought the Zeek case in August 2012.

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One Response to “Legisi HYIP Pitchman Matthew John Gagnon Pleads Guilty, Admits He Didn’t Disclose ‘Touting’ Compensation Of More Than $1 Million And Caused More Than $7 Million In Losses”

  1. Ken Russo, please pick up the white courtesy phone…

      (Quote)

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