GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — David McQueen was sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $30 million in restitution Wednesday for a massive Ponzi scheme that preyed on elderly investors.
McQueen, 44, was convicted May 9 of six counts of mail fraud, six counts of money laundering and three tax-related charges connected to the scheme.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, McQueen’s fraud impacted more than 800 families over a three-year period.
Investigators say his crimes stem from initial 2006 investments he made in Multiple Return Transactions (MRT) using borrowed funds.
At first he received 10 percent returns on those investments, and then started a company of his own called Accelerated Income Group (AIG), promising returns of 5 to 6 percent to his own investors.
MRT itself was a Ponzi scheme, and stopped making payments in 2007, according to the Justice Department.
Instead of shutting down AIG and notifying investors of the scam, though, McQueen continued to sign on new investors to meet the payments.
He raised millions of dollars and created three other sham corporations until the IRS and FBI seized some of his assets in August 2009.
“While McQueen and others paid themselves millions from investor funds, their victims, many of whom were elderly and retired, lost everything—their savings, their homes and livelihoods,” Special Agent Paul Abbate with the FBI in a release.
McQueen was ordered to pay $32,036,997.63 in restitution to the victims and $926,787 to the IRS.