Three charged following millions lost in “cattle” Ponzi scheme
An Illinois woman and a Georgia man have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Colorado for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that raised nearly $650-million from investors across the country. According to the indictment, the group solicited hundreds of millions of dollars from victim-investors and most-often represented that the investments were backed by short-term investments in cattle.
Reva Joyce Stachniw of Galesburg, Illinois and Ron Throgmartin of Buford, Georgia were charged with running the scheme. A third co-conspirator, Mark Ray, formerly of Abingdon, Illinois was previously charged for his role in February of 2020. All three were part of a civil complaint filed against them by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Victim investors were promised 10-20% returns over several weeks for investments in cattle trade, unaware their money was actually being used to pay back other investors in a Ponzi investment scheme. No actual cattle were involved. A Colorado marijuana business also served as a cover-up for investments.
The incitement states Stachniw and Throgmartin could face a 30-year prison sentence and $1 million fine for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, 20 years and $250,000 for wire fraud and up to 10 years and another $250,000 fine for conspiracy to engage in money transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.