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Minn. Man Ordered To Pay $84.7M In Ponzi Case

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators say a Minnesota man who pleaded guilty to bilking investors in a commodities Ponzi scheme has to pay $84.7 million in civil fines and restitution to customers under a court order.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Wednesday it obtained the order from a federal judge in St. Paul against Charles Hays and his company, Crossfire Trading. The agency sued Hays in February 2009, accusing him of soliciting money to invest in stock and crude oil futures and instead taking it for his own benefit. It was a Ponzi scheme in which earlier investors were paid with other investors’ money rather than actual profits, the government says.

Hays pleaded guilty in 2009 to criminal charges of defrauding investors of $21.6 million. He received a nine-year, nine-month prison term.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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