Jenison man accused of running $1.5M Ponzi scheme
LANSING, Mich. – A Jenison man has been arraigned on 33 felony charges for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that took in about $1.5 million.
Scott Rookus, 45, was released on bond Tuesday after the charges were filed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in Ottawa County Circuit Court.
According to the Attorney General’s office, Rookus allegedly solicited investments of approximately $1.5 million for his holdings company, New Haven Holdings, between 2010 and 2013. His customers, many of whom were senior citizens, were allegedly told that earnings from their investments would come from the profits of Rookus’ enterprises. However, the money he took resulted in an alleged Ponzi-scheme from which he took the profits.
The AG’s office also alleges that Rookus issued fraudulent returns to some investors, using proceeds from newer investors. Investigators allege that Rookus used investor funds to pay for personal expenses, including his kids’ private education and to pay off tax liens. The alleged wrong-doings were discovered after Rookus filed for bankruptcy in March of 2015 and investors were left with nothing.
Rookus has been charged with:
- One count of Conducting a Continuing Criminal Enterprise; a 20 year felony;
- One count of Embezzlement of $20,000 or more but less than $50,000; a 10 year felony
- Two counts of Embezzlement of $50,000 or more but less than $100,000; a 10 year felony;
- Five counts of Embezzlement of $100,000 or more; a 20 year felony
- Seven counts of Obtaining Money by False Pretenses over $20,000; a 10 year felony;
- One Count of Obtaining Money by False Pretenses over $100,000; a 20 year felony;
- Eight counts of Larceny by Conversion of $20,000 or more, a 10 year felony; and
- Eight counts of Fraudulent Sales of Securities; a 10 year felony.