Two of four people charged in connection with an investment scam that has cost its victims more than $516,000 have pleaded not guilty to more than 80 felony counts related to the scheme.
Robert and Ann Scarborough, both of Hopkinsville, Ky., pled not guilty at their Tuesday arraignment in Christian Circuit Court on more than 80 felony counts related to the scheme.
Ann Scarborough, of Hopkinsville, Ky., is charged with four counts of theft by deception over $300, 22 counts of selling unregistered securities, 22 counts of selling securities without a brokerage license and 22 counts of employing a scheme, device or fraud in sale of security. She is also facing trial this fall in U.S. District Court in Tennessee on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.
Her husband, Robert, is charged with six counts of complicity to selling unregistered securities, six counts of complicity to selling securities without a brokerage license and six counts of complicity to employing a scheme, device or fraud in sale of security.
The Scarboroughs are accused of soliciting investors in purported real estate opportunities in Kentucky, Indiana and Nevada. Investors were allegedly led to believe they would receive as much as five-times their investment amount within weeks or months.
"During a time when many Kentuckians have seen their retirement and pensions threatened by the economic downturn, investment schemes that offer get-rich-quick returns are very tempting, even to the most sophisticated consumer," said Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.
Also charged in connection with the phony investment scheme are Kenneth and Sheila Kennedy, both of Clarksville, Tenn. Kenneth Kennedy is charged with 15 felony counts of theft by deception over $300 in connection with a single individual who paid him $89,500. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
His wife, Sheila, is facing 95 felony counts related to the scam. She also pled guilty on March 27, in U.S. District Court in Nashville, Tenn., to one count of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering. Sheila Kennedy could face a maximum of 30 years in prison on the federal charges.
"On behalf of those who were victimized, my office will make every attempt to get their money back and to punish those responsible for their losses. We also want to encourage consumers to leery of any "investment" or promise that sounds too good to be true; they usually are," said 3rd District Commonwealth's Attorney Lynn Pryor.