Local News

Raleigh man pleads guilty to Ponzi scheme

Posted July 15, 2011 5:01 p.m. EDT
Updated July 15, 2011 5:52 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh man pleaded guilty Friday to running a Ponzi scheme that authorities said cost investors close to $1 million.

Dennis Todd Hagemann, 42, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of securities fraud and was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years and a maximum of 16 years years and two months in prison.

Investigators with the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office arrested Hagemann last year on dozens of fraud charges, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed federal charges against him as well.

Hagemann lured at least 10 people to invest $980,000 with his foreign currency hedge fund company, Yellowstone Partners Inc., by promising very high rates of return, authorities said. He told at least one investor that he produced 100 percent returns on investments each week.

Authorities said, however, that Hagemann wasn't successful in foreign exchange trading and never traded the investors’ funds as represented. Instead, he used investors’ money to pay back previous investors and converted investors’ funds to his personal use.