A 64-year-old Newport Beach man was indicted by a federal grand jury in South Carolina for an alleged Ponzi scheme that is said to have bilked about 2,600 investors out of about $300 million, authorities said Thursday.
Scott A. Kohn pleaded not guilty to mail and wire fraud charges on Wednesday, according to court records. A detention hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday for the Kohn, who was arrested in Southern California on Sept. 21, according to court records.
Kohn, who was president of Future Income Payments, LLC., which had offices in Irvine, is accused of operating what federal prosecutors allege was a Ponzi scheme that sought money from new investors to pay off previous investors.
Kohn was originally indicted in March, and a superseding indictment was filed July 9.
The indictment alleges Kohn and his company targeted military veterans and pension-holders facing financial troubles.
The investors made monthly payments to the company in exchange for a lump-sum or loan with an adjusted annual interest rate often exceeding 100%, prosecutors alleged. The alleged conspiracy also involved promises of 6.5% and 8% rates of returns on pension payments, prosecutors alleged.
When the company closed in early 2018, the 2,600-some investors were owed a collective $300 million, prosecutors said.
On Sept. 27 of last year, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter in Santa Ana approved a default judgment in a civil suit against the company. Carter ordered damages of $1,037,323.88 paid to plaintiffs and $6,289.22 in costs and $341,827.74 in attorneys fees, according to court records.
Kohn could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted at trial in South Carolina.