'Mini-Madoff' Scammed Churchgoers, Blames Banks

By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2009 1:26 PM CDT
In this March 10, 2009 file photo, Bernard Madoff exits Manhattan federal court in New York.   (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, File)
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(Newser) – For some, 2009 may be remembered as the year of the Ponzi scheme: Last year, federal regulators prosecuted 13 such scams, but in just the first few months of this year, they’ve already filed 22 cases, reports ABC News. One recent bust is Long Island's Peter Dawson, who stiffed fellow churchgoers, including a man bedridden with lupus and behind on his mortgage payments.

Dawson, who faces 5 years in jail, says banks could have stopped his scheme, but they “didn’t care if people could pay these loans because as soon as they got the loans they made their fees and they sold the loans to others on Wall Street.”