A Plymouth man was charged Monday with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering in connection with Trevor Cook's $190 million Ponzi scheme.
Between February and September of 2008, securities broker Christopher Pettengill is alleged to have knowingly concealed information from investors as he and Cook sold a fraudulent foreign currency investment program and secured millions of dollars in investment assets, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota. Pettengill allegedly used his position as a licensed broker to lend credibility to the program, and he assured investors that the investments involved little or no risk.
On September 3, 2008, 54-year-old Pettengill allegedly made a credit-card payment of $11,369.19, which was derived from the proceeds of the securities fraud.
Pettengill was charged by information, rather than an indictment, which generally indicates that a plea agreement is expected.
Cook pleaded guilty last April and in August received the maximum allowable sentence of 25 years for running the Ponzi scheme, which defrauded more than 1,000 investors. Then in March, co-defendant Jon Jason Greco was charged with two counts of making false statements to federal agents in relation to the case.
If Pettengill is convicted, he will face a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison-10 years for the money laundering charge, five years for the securities fraud charge, and five years for the conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge.