2 charged with running Ponzi scheme in KY - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

2 charged with running Ponzi scheme in KY

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LOUISVILLE, KY (AP) - Two men have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aiding and abetting each other in what prosecutors described as a Ponzi scheme.

According to an indictment unsealed Friday, Swainson Hawke, also known as Ronald D. Scheetz, of Macon, Ga., and William A. Humes of Elizabethtown operated a multilevel marketing scheme between Feb. 1, 2005, and Jan. 20, 2008, that deceived investors by promising inflated returns.

Hawke and Humes allegedly used businesses they owned and controlled, including Guardian International Travel LLC, to induce investors to purchase discount gift cards, creating the illusion that returns and payments were based on profits.

Hawke, who was arrested in Georgia on June 22, and Hume, who appeared in court Friday, are free on $10,000 bond.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)