Cook Gets 25 Yrs. For Scheme, Kiley Denies Role

Former radio host Pat Kiley has been accused by federal regulators of playing a role in convicted Ponzi schemer Trevor Cook's scam that defrauded investors out of $190 million, but he continues to fight back and claim that he had no knowledge of the fraud.

Trevor G. Cook was indicted, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced in August-to the maximum allowable sentence of 25 years-for running a $190 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 1,000 investors. However, his alleged conspirator Patrick J. “Pat” Kiley has maintained that he had no involvement in the fraud.

The scheme started to unravel in mid-2009 when a group of investors filed a suit in Minneapolis claiming that they invested $4.7 million with Cook but could not withdraw their money when they wanted to do so.

Following an investigation, federal regulators filed lawsuits in November 2009 against Cook, who lives in Apple Valley, and Kiley of Burnsville, that related to the alleged Ponzi scheme.

Later that month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed separate lawsuits against Cook and Kiley and obtained emergency orders to freeze the assets held by the two of them, four of their business entities, and about a dozen “relief defendants,” including Cook's in-laws.

In March, Cook was charged with one count of mail fraud and one count of tax evasion. He pleaded guilty to the charges in April and was sentenced in August to the maximum allowable sentence of 25 years in prison.

According to the plea agreement, Cook-with the help of others-raised at least $190 million by selling investments in a purported foreign currency trading program. Investors thought they were investing in a low-risk, high-return foreign-currency trading program, but Cook instead used their money to make payments to other investors and give funds to Switzerland-based brokerage firm Crown Forex, SA, in an effort to deceive Swiss banking regulators.

Prior to being sentenced, Cook was found in contempt of court and jailed following his repeated refusal to help a receiver locate and liquidate more than $35 million in cash and assets. The contempt order was lifted in early December, at which time Cook could officially begin to serve his 25-year sentence.

Meanwhile, Kiley has publicly maintained his innocence and has not yet been indicted in the case. In August, Kiley filed a $42 million defamation suit against the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, several reporters, and other associates, claiming that the media outlets printed false statements about his involvement with Cook's Ponzi scheme, which caused severe damage to his reputation and character.

In November, Kiley filed a response to the suits filed by the SEC and the CFTC denying any role in the fraud scheme.

At that time, Kiley admitted that he taped a weekly radio show in which he promoted a foreign currency program for investors. However, he claims that he did not know that his statements about the program-namely, that it involved little or no risk and that the investors' principal would be safe and could be withdrawn at any time-were false until the investors filed their suit in July 2009.

Kiley also claims that he did not control any of the shell companies Cook used to carry out the scheme.

Although it appears that Cook's legal battle is over, Kiley's will likely continue into the new year.