By David Fleet
On Tuesday morning the Genesee County Sheriff Department executed four search warrants, three in Atlas Township and one in Grand Blanc Township, following a month-and-a-half long investigation of a suspected Ponzi scheme.
Genesee County Sheriff Undersheriff Chris Swanson said the warrants were issued by Judge Nathaniel C. Perry, III for Atlas Valley Country Club and homes on Creekwood Lane and Lake Shinanguag. In addition, a search warrant was issued on Grand Blanc-based Research Money Management on Tri Park Drive.
No criminal charges have been filed so far as part of the investigation as of press time on Thursday.
The Atlas Valley Country Club remains open.
“Some things just did not add up and there’s probable cause for prosecutors to seek warrants,” said Swanson. “The Elder Abuse Task Force had a tip from the family of a senior citizen that led to the search warrants.”
Swanson estimated more than $1 million could be involved in the ongoing investigation.The Elder Abuse Task Force addresses abuse and financial exploitation of Genesee County seniors. Specially trained investigators, prosecutors, and social-workers under the direction of the probate court are dedicated to investigating and prosecuting allegations involving local seniors. The force has been in operation since 2008.
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors. The Ponzi scheme generates funds for investors with new investors’ money. Ultimately, there isn’t enough money to go around, and the schemes unravel.
Swanson said computers, files, and other electronic data were removed from the four locations. The suspect purchased the Atlas Valley Country Club in November 2016.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to please contact Lt. Nelson at 810-257-3422.
By David Fleet