California Scammers Who Wiped Out Investors In 4,000 Percent ‘International Bank Trades’ Swindle Get Extra Prison Time For Filing False Liens Against Federal Prosecutor, FBI Agents

ponziblotterRonald Wesley Groves and Donald Charles Mann swindled $4.8 million from 642 investors in a bizarre “international bank trades” caper that promised a payout of 4,000 percent. Now, they’ve been sentenced to an extra year in federal prison for filing false liens against a federal prosecutor and two FBI agents involved in the fraud probe, the office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California said.

Prime-bank fraud schemes, which may trade on secrecy and claim to be humanitarian in nature, are among the strangest of all in Ponzi Land. In the Groves/Mann scheme, $300,000 made its way into “the coffers of a Liberian presidential candidate,” prosecutors said.

Liberia is a country in West Africa.

Groves, 71, was sentenced last week to 10 years in federal prison for his role in the “Money Growth Solutions” (MGS) swindle, which operated between April 2005 and April 2006.

Mann, 56, was sentenced to more than 17 years for the same swindle.

Both men were sentenced today to an extra year in jail for filing the bogus liens while they were awaiting trial on fraud charges from the MGS scheme in 2008. The liens claimed that Groves and Mann were owed $101.9 million and that the meter was running against the prosecutor and FBI agents at a rate of $100,000 a day.

Groves and Mann were charged with four counts of retaliation against federal officials by false claim and slander of title and one count of obstruction of justice.

From a statement by prosecutors:

The defendants told investors that these bank trades were a highly secretive investment vehicle known only to a few people around the world.

In June 2011, a jury returned guilty verdicts against Groves and Mann after a nine-day trial. According to evidence presented at their trial, in one program, investors were offered a 10 to 1 return (1,000 percent) on their investment within a matter of weeks. In a later offering, the defendants promised a 40 to 1 return (4,000 percent) in the same amount of time. The defendants told investors that while their money was waiting to be placed into a bank trade, it would be maintained in an escrow account that could not be touched for any other purpose. The defendants also told investors that if they were unable to execute a “bank trade,” the investors would receive their entire investment back plus 6 percent interest within 12 months. With the exception of a few people who were able to obtain refunds, every MGS investor lost their entire investment.

The federal investigation revealed that by April 2006, out of the $4.8 million received, Money Growth Solutions had less than $65,000 remaining in its bank account. Some of that money — $300,000 apiece — went into the pockets of the two defendants. The remainder of the money went to the defendants’ various pet projects, including $300,000 to the coffers of a Liberian presidential candidate and $2.5 million to a Florida company that was supposedly developing a revolutionary battery. The battery company was later determined by the Securities and Exchange Commission to be a scam and its owner was federally indicted.

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2 Responses to “California Scammers Who Wiped Out Investors In 4,000 Percent ‘International Bank Trades’ Swindle Get Extra Prison Time For Filing False Liens Against Federal Prosecutor, FBI Agents”

  1. […] But perhaps the wisest and most civic-minded of their investments was another $300,000 donated to a presidential candidate in Liberia. With time added for filing the false liens, Groves will spend 11 years in federal […]

  2. […] Charles Mann) who’d swindled investors in an “international bank trades” caper were sentenced to additional time for targeting a federal prosecutors and FBI agents with false liens. Earlier — in January […]