Posted on: March 30, 2023, 08:17h.
Last updated on: March 30, 2023, 08:17h.
A Las Vegas attorney is due in court on Friday after recent charges for allegedly operating a $460,000,000-plus Ponzi scheme.
Matthew Beasley, 50, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday on five counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
If found guilty of the charges, Beasley could face many years in prison.
More than 600 people participated in the Las Vegas-based scheme involving Beasley’s Beasley Law Group. Beasley’s legal license was suspended after the allegations surfaced.
The plot targeted members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s better known as the Mormon Church.
Paid $4M in Gambling Debt
He used some of the money to pay his gambling debts, which totaled $4M. Other money was used to fund his “opulent lifestyle,” according to court documents.
He allegedly purchased luxurious houses, a private jet, boats, and fancy cars with the money.
Beasley allegedly took funds over five years from “plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits who wanted to borrow money against their pending settlements with insurance companies and [who] were willing to pay high-interest rates to borrow the money for 90 days,” according to the indictment.
Interests in Tort Settlements
Investors could “purchase interests in insurance tort settlements” and would receive at least 12.5% return every 90 days, Las Vegas TV station KLAS reported, citing court documents.
Beasley used new investor money to pay interest and return principal to earlier investors to create the illusion that personal injury plaintiffs existed,” the indictment revealed.
The money was paid in $80,000 and $100,000 payments, according to KLAS.
Beasley and his firm also were sued by investors in a class action lawsuit. They claim they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Review-Journal.
He was also sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last year. That lawsuit claimed at least $449 million passed through Beasley Law Group accounts between 2017 and March 2022.
Shot by FBI Agent
In a related incident, Beasley also allegedly aimed a gun “in a sweeping motion” at FBI agents on March 3, 2022, when the agents arrived at the suspect’s home. They were there to ask questions about the scheme.
Beasley refused to drop the gun and an agent shot him in the chest and shoulder.
Beasley refused to leave his house despite the wounds. Beasley did speak to an FBI negotiator during the standoff. He allegedly admitted to the Ponzi scheme while speaking to the negotiator.
Eventually, he agreed to go to a local hospital for treatment. Beasley spent four days in the hospital before he was released into the custody of US Marshals.
The gun incident led to a pending charge of assault on a federal officer.
Beasley’s business partner, Jeffrey Judd, hasn’t been arrested for the scheme, the Review-Journal reported. He has been identified as owner of a company called J&J Entities.