Mastermind Behind $80M Ponzi Scheme Based on Fake ATMs Gets 8 Years in Prison

Walter Netschi was convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme based on phony investments in automated teller machines (ATMs) where he bilked investors out of $80 million, according to an article in Investment News. He even scammed a Wall Street banker out of his life savings of $4 million, who is reportedly now waiting tables in Florida.

Prosecutors in the case alleged that Netschi convinced investors they were buying 4,500 ATMs in retail locations, when in fact 90% of them did not exist or were owned by third parties. The U.S. District Judge in the case, Thomas Griesa, ordered Netschi to forfeit $80 million and required him to pay restitution to others.

Just as in virtually every case like this, Mr. Netschi lived a very fine lifestyle from his Ponzi scheme investments. He took out $15 million for himself and flew around on his private jet playing golf, taking vacations and entertaining friends. Mr. Netschi had previously lived in McKinney, Texas and now resides in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, according to the article.

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