The trial against three of convicted Ponzi schemer Trevor Cook’s alleged co-conspirators intensified late last week when federal prosecutors began to use the defendants’ own promotional audio and videotapes against them in court.
According to John Welbes at the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, the tapes show the defendants making a number of false claims and misrepresentations.
Additionally, the dates of the tapes indicate that the defendants may have continued to push their currency-trading program even after they were advised that their program was riddled with illegalities.
In particular, one tape shows defendant Gerald Durand telling potential investors that he had experience managing “institutional money.” The prosecution contends Durand’s statement is entirely false.
Another tape shows defendant Jason “Bo” Beckman pitching the so-called benefits of the defendants’ currency-trading program to investors. The tape was made in late 2008, after Beckman’s attorney allegedly had advised him of the program’s legal problems.
The $194 million Ponzi scheme, orchestrated by Cook, collapsed in 2009. Charges were filed against the defendants (Durand, Beckman, and Christian Radio Host Patrick “Pat” Kiley) in 2011.
Together, Beckman, Durand, and Kiley face more than 30 criminal counts, including various counts of wire and mail fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. Cook is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.
For more information on the prosecution’s case, read Welbes’ full article here.