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Contact 6: Man convicted for Ponzi scheme involving elderly

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MILWAUKEE -- FOX6's Contact 6 has issued an alert about a deception that led to millions of dollars lost and dozens of lives ruined.

Earlene Dean was told if she invested in the cattle market in Honduras, she'd get rich. What she didn't know is that she was being lured into a Ponzi scheme.

Dean said she invested pretty much everything she had -- totaling over $100,000. Dean's sister invested as well, and she lost even more.

"My parents lost all of their savings. Dollar amount is roughly $480,000 I think. My parents did receive a couple of checks which were 'interest' checks a relatively small amount which I felt was his way of keeping them happy," Wanda Thompson said.

U.S. Postal Inspectors say there were more than 40 victims and $2 million in losses. 

"He targeted these elderly people, not to give them 15-20% on their money. It was to put money in his pocket. He was able to do this by being in the community, living in the community, earning their trust by going to their home, then in their church," U.S. Postal Inspector Sonya Ofchus said.

"I`ve learned from this experience not to trust anyone even if you think you know him as far investing any money. Keep it in the bank, where it is safe," Dean said.

The suspect in this case was convicted. FOX6's Contact 6 say it is an warning to steer clear of anyone talking about an investment deal, no matter how much they are trusted.

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