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Two Indicted in California for $129 Million Ponzi Scheme

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- A Canadian man and California woman were indicted by a federal grand jury for running a $129 million Ponzi scheme selling fraudulent certificates of deposit to 1,200 people through banking entities they controlled.

William Wise, 62, a Canadian citizen formerly of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Jacquline Hoegel, 55, of American Canyon, California, were charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in San Francisco said today in a statement.

The CDs, which purportedly carried a guaranteed return of as much as 16 percent and were supposedly based on overseas investments, were issued by Millennium Bank, Haag said. Wise and Hoegel used investor money to enrich themselves and make interest payments to earlier investors, prosecutors said.

Hoegel was arrested and released on bond, according to the statement. Wise is believed to be in Canada and a warrant was issued for his arrest, Haag said.

The case is U.S. v. Wise, 12-111, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco)

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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