Indiana Man Who Dressed As Pastor As Part Of Ponzi Swindle Sentenced To Prison; Bradley Collins Told Marks ‘He Only Worked With God-Fearing, Church Going People And Was Blessed To Be Blessing Potential Investors’
An Indiana man authorities said sometimes dressed as a pastor to dupe his marks in a $30 million Ponzi swindle has been sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to make restitution of $2.2 million.
Bradley Collins, 55, of Fort Wayne, also has agreed to testify as a government witness in a federal prosecution in Michigan involving a conspirator, authorities said.
Collins scammed at least 129 investors, about 59 of whom lived in Allen County, the venue of the state-level prosecution.
“Today’s sentencing sends yet another message that Indiana is not a place for white collar crime such as affinity fraud,” said Connie Lawson, Indiana Secretary of State.
Lawson lauded the office of Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards and the state Securities Division “for their hard work in protecting Hoosiers from scam artist such as Mr. Collins.”
In October 2012, the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne identified the Michigan man as David McQueen, reporting that Collins was alleged to have worked as a sales agent for McQueen.
Collins pleaded guilty to selling unregistered securities.
Indiana was one of more than two dozen U.S. states that issued Investor Alerts or cease-and-desist orders against the Profitable Sunrise HYIP “program” earlier this year. Authorities have described Profitable Sunrise as an affinity scam. Some states have identified alleged sales agents for Profitable Sunrise.
Lawson’s office noted that “[a]lmost all of Collins victims report he claimed to be a good Christian man and preyed on their religious beliefs. In some cases, he even dressed as a pastor to draw victims into the scam.”