A man and a woman were indicted on September 23, 2010, for their alleged involvement in an investment scam involving $30 million. The pair has been accused of misusing $12 million of $30 million they raised from approximately 70 investors in the apparent Ponzi scheme.
According to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the alleged architects of the investment scam were charged with five counts of wire fraud by a federal grand jury.
The defendants have been identified as 45-year-old James Jedynak and 60-year-old Gail Howard. They both are believed to be from Northfield, Illinois, but currently reside in Texas.
The indictment alleges that the pair ran their scheme between 2003 and 2007, during which time they raised over $30 million from approximately 70 unsuspecting investors through Unified Worldwide Transport, LLC (UWT). The investors were under the impression that the duo was using their money to purchase telecommunication routes, build network infrastructure, provide working capital, repay debt and purchase licenses and equipment.
Mr. Jedynak and Ms. Howard are being accused of using some of the money to support their lavish lifestyle that included luxury services, jewelry, a boat and home improvements. They have also been accused of using funds to make payments to friends and relatives.
If convicted, the pair faces up to 20 years in prison and potentially $250,000 in fines.