After the Bernie Madoff debacle, Ponzi schemes are getting more publicity in the news. Ponzi schemes can be committed in different ways, but they typically involve a person or persons who are able to elicit trust from others who believe that person has the ability to make extraordinary returns on an investment. The Ponzi schemer will solicit money from a number of people and use those new payments from newer victims to pay prior victims just enough to keep them satisfied and avoid suspicion. However, invariably, the Ponzi schemer runs out of new investors, and money, or an investor gets suspicious and starts asking questions and requesting documentation about the investment and the Ponzi scheme falls apart.
In this case, Reed Diehl, who was a former Tennessee Titan in the NFL, solicited money from victims claiming that he would invest the money into loan programs and condominium projects in Mexico that would provide a high rate of return, according to a press release on the local U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website. When the Ponzi scheme fell apart, Mr. Diehl was ultimately charged with federal crimes such as wire fraud and money laundering. He entered a guilty plea and admitted to stealing over $5 million. There were never any investments in loans or building projects. Mr. Diehl was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison in California.