Alleged Ponzi schemer pleads guilty

AP News
Posted: Dec 21, 2011 4:56 PM
Alleged Ponzi schemer pleads guilty

A former Albuquerque real estate executive has pleaded guilty to wire and mail fraud and agreed to serve up to 12 years in prison to settle charges he ran a multi-state Ponzi scheme.

Doug Vaughan entered the plea Wednesday in federal court in Santa Fe. Under terms of the deal with prosecutors, Chief Judge Bruce Black will determine the final sentence, which will range from 10 to 12 years.

The 64-year-old Vaughan also agreed to pay a fine of up to $250,000, as well as restitution ordered by the court. The plea agreement also requires that Vaughan forfeit previously seized cash and property.

Prosecutors say Vaughan swindled 600 investors in at least eight states out of nearly $75 million.

Vaughan's attorney said the plea agreement was a "good result for everybody."