Contact 6: CFP accused of Ponzi scheme -- selling fake investment

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A certified financial planner is accused of selling a fake investment.

Daria Lisco and her husband lost more than $20,000 in an investment their neighbor first told them about.

"A nursing home investment and the returns were pretty good - maybe 8% and we decided we would invest money in that - because it was a good deal," Lisco said.

For months, the Liscos were content, as the investment appeared to be making them money.

"One of the things about it is that he went through a legitimate company and checks were coming from that company so it wasn`t like you think this is a scam," Lisco said.

However, this was a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by a former financial advisor.

"They were usually his own clients, so he knew who to approach," U.S. Postal Inspector Daniel Forrester said.

Postal inspectors say the suspect created the fictitious nursing home investment, and ore than 13 victims invested $10 million.

"The product did not exist. He used their purchases of the product to return interest payments to the client to keep the scheme going," Forrester said.

Not all the money went into the Ponzi scheme.

"He diverted 80% to his own accounts and 20% to make interest payments. If you met the guy he seemed like the nicest guy in the world. He was always flaunting money around," Forrester said.

"I would ask him how he could take advantage of people and a friend? How could he live with that taking money and spending it lavishly on himself?" Lisco said.

Postal inspectors say it is important to thoroughly research not only the advisor, but any investment opportunity before actually investing.

The suspect in this case pleaded guilty to first-degree money laundering. He was sentenced to eight years in federal prison.