No Contest Pleas in $9 Million Ponzi Scheme

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Court-gavel-and-justiceLANSING, Mich. — Two Grand Rapids men accused of participating in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme have pleaded no contest in the case, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Thursday.

Thomas Doctor, 53, and Douglas Kacos, 58, both pleaded no contest to fourth-degree money laundering for their role in the $9 million scheme that allegedly defrauded approximately 140 victims.   They each face up to two years in prison for the misdemeanor.

Doctor and Kacos are accused of aiding two other men in the scheme.  Jeffrey Ripley and Danny VanLiere pleaded no contest to racketeering and selling unregistered securities in March.

They operated through API Worldwide, Inc., allegedly selling fake securities and defrauding victims of amounts ranging from $3,000 to $600,000 each.

“Ripley and VanLiere targeted elderly investors with their scam,” a release from Schuette’s office says.  “Investigation revealed they preyed on elderly victims by convincing them to cash in certificates of deposit and other legitimate investments in order to invest the proceeds in API Worldwide.”

According to a release, some elderly victims lost their entire life savings.


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