Fox Lake man accused in $3.7M Ponzi scheme

August 17, 2010 11:07:04 AM PDT
A 48-year-old north suburban Fox Lake man is facing three counts of wire fraud after federal officials say he bilked more than two dozen investors of more than $3 million.Joseph A. Dawson, who owns a trading firm, allegedly misappropriated more than $1 million of investors' funds for his own benefit and used investors' funds to pay promised returns to other investors. He also allegedly cost investors $2.8 million.

According to the charges, Dawson was a commodity futures and securities trader who owned an investment fund called LEAP Fund since about 2001. He also owned Dawson Trading, LLC, which operated in Ingleside, Fox Lake and later Lakemoor, and which took over the business and customers of the LEAP Fund in about 2004.

Authorities allege the scheme took place over five years since 2004 and affected 26 investors between the two firms.

Officials say Dawson used investor money for personal expenses, such as his residence, the construction of a swimming pool, landscaping and three vehicles.


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