Last week, Candice Campbell, of Canton, Michigan, received a 52-month prison sentence for her role in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of more than $1 million. She also was ordered to pay more than $700,000 in restitution and to forfeit numerous items purchased with ill-gotten gains.
According to the FBI, Campbell represented herself as CEO of a sham investment firm, CJ’s Financial (CJF), and solicited investments from investors through a number of false promises and false representations. With co-conspirator, Jessie A. Wozniak, Campbell “lured approximately 80 individuals located in Michigan, New York, Arizona, Connecticut, and Colorado to invest almost $1,150,000 with CJF.” Investors were told that Campbell was a licensed financial planner, and that she would invest their funds in the stock market.
The criminal charges were nearly identical to the charges laid out by the SEC in an Aug. 2010 Complaint. In the Complaint, the SEC alleged that Campbell and CJF obtained a little over $1 million from more than 60 investors over a 13-month period. According to the SEC, Campbell told investors their funds would be invested through a guaranteed trading program, but then invested less than 10 percent of the proceeds. Instead, she used most of the money for her personal purposes. The SEC’s Complaint further alleged that Campbell and CJF specifically promised investors a “guaranteed” 10% monthly return, that their initial investments would “NEVER go down in value," and that CJF would pay their capital gains taxes. Campbell was arrested on Dec. 2, 2010. For more information about the case, obtain the SEC’s original Complaint here.