Authorities say four Arizona men and a Texas resident have been indicted in a $160 million Ponzi scheme.
A 40-count federal indictment unsealed Thursday charges most of the men with mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
Charged in the case are 38-year-old Guy Andrew Williams of Mesa, 62-year-old Brent F. Williams of Mesa; 46-year-old Douglas Edward Towler of Scottsdale, 43-year-old Russell Laurence Sewell of Mesa and 38-year-old Duane Hamblin Slade of Austin, Texas.
The indictment alleges that between February 2002 and April 2005, the defendants induced victims to invest millions of dollars in a fund designed to make loans to third-party borrowers at a high interest rate.
But authorities say the defendants used the money to fund businesses and entities they controlled and to finance their extravagant lifestyles.