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Ontarian sentenced for Dominican resort Ponzi scheme

San Francisco (November 28, 2019) – A Northern California court sentenced Derek Elliott from Ontario to two years in prison. In September 2012, the Canadian was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud for his role in a Dominican resort Ponzi scheme. Elliott and his business partner James Catledge gathered over $90 million from investors to renovate a resort in the Dominican Republic, which never opened.

A lengthy fraud trial came to an end in Northern California for the Ontarian Derek Elliott. In September 2012, Elliott was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud for his role in a Dominican resort Ponzi scheme.

Investigations in the Dominican resort Ponzi scheme

The charges were the result of a two-year investigation by the FBI. The 49-year-old Elliott and his business partner James Catledge gathered more than $90 million from investors to renovate a vacation resort in the Dominican Republic. The investigation revealed that nearly $70 million of the investors’ funds were never used for the advertised project. Instead, the money was illegally diverted to commissions and other projects. Consequently, the resort never opened and all the investors’ money was gone.

Read more: Maryland man sentenced for using Ponzi scheme worth over US$396 million

‘[I]n their sales pitch, Catledge and Elliot failed to tell investors that the full commissions being taken from their investment were approximately 44 percent, that the renovations were underfunded, that investors’ money was being used on other projects, and the returns they promised were unsupportable and could not be achieved,’ stated the district attorney in their indictment 2012.

Sentenced to two years in California prison

Nearly five years ago, Elliott had pled guilty and started co-operating with the San Francisco district attorney. Now, the trial came to an end. Elliott has been sentenced to two years in U.S. prison. He will be under supervised release for three years after he served his term in California. Furthermore, the judge ordered Elliott to pay restitution to the victims.