Michigan man gets 30 years in prison for $46.5M Ponzi scheme that bilked elderly investors

Markets Associated Press

A western Michigan man convicted of operating a $46.5 million Ponzi scheme that targeted elderly investors was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on Wednesday.

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David McQueen, 44, was convicted earlier this year of fraud and other charges related to the scheme. Prosecutors say he promised to make steady payments to hundreds of investors, but really just moved money between accounts to keep checks from bouncing.

The courtroom was packed with victims for his sentencing hearing, The Grand Rapids Press reported (http://bit.ly/1tF3gx0 ). U.S. District Judge Gordon Quist said many victims are in financial ruin, including a woman who invested $500,000 with him who was then unable to pay for her sick husband's medical care and funeral.

"Mr. McQueen does not take any responsibility for what has occurred here," Quist said. "He can say he's sorry in an abstract sense but I don't think he feels it."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sally Berens said McQueen portrayed himself as a Christian doing good works while taking a $150,000 monthly salary. McQueen still owes $32 million in restitution, prosecutors say.

McQueen, who lived in Kent County's Byron Township, has blamed lawyers and others for his failed investments.

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His business partner, Trent Francke, pleaded guilty to securities and tax charges. Quist sentenced him Tuesday to seven years in prison.