Ponzi scheme couple caught after 12 years

2012-05-07 12:00
Tonopah - An Illinois couple who spent a dozen years on the run after fleeing a conviction for running a Ponzi scheme has been captured in a small community west of Phoenix, the US Marshals Service said on Sunday.

Nelson Grant Hallahan, aged 65, and wife Janet Hallahan, aged 54, were arrested by deputy marshals on Saturday afternoon at a rural home in Tonopah, west of Phoenix.

The agency said it received a tip about their location after they were featured on America's Most Wanted the previous night.

The couple pleaded guilty in Illinois federal court to bank and mail fraud conspiracy charges and money laundering. They didn't show up for their sentencing and have been fugitives ever since.

The Hallahans lived in Peoria, Illinois and targeted family, friends and elderly victims by promising significant returns on investments.

They also defrauded investors by selling interests in a tanning salon they later sold without telling investors. They were actually running a Ponzi scheme, repaying earlier investors with proceeds from new ones.

Arrested without incident

The couple used the money they stole to live a lavish lifestyle, buying yachts, luxury vehicles, designer clothes and jewellery, according to the Marshals Service.

The couple owed nearly $1.2m to investors when they disappeared just days before they were to be sentenced in January 2000.

They were arrested without incident. It's believed they've been in Arizona for about two years.

"The 12-year run from justice of the Hallahans, also known as the 'Mini Madoffs', has come to an end," said US marshal for Arizona David Gonzales in a statement. "Their investment scams involving family, friends, and the elderly, ruined many lives."

According to a profile on the AMW website, Nelson Hallahan was a successful life insurance salesman who began convincing people he could earn outsized returns on investments. Janet Hallahan was his assistant and secretary, and the couple married in 1988.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.