Local News

Former El Paso Co. deputy sentenced for Ponzi scheme

DENVER - A former El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy has been sentenced after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.

David Hawkins, 46, of Colorado Springs will serve 30 months in federal prison followed by three years on supervised release.

Hawkins was also ordered to pay $204,348.91 in restitution to three remaining victims who have not been paid yet and to forfeit $17,000 which the government has agreed to apply towards victim restitution.

The United States Justice Department says that in 2006, Hawkins became involved in trading in foreign currency exchange markets, or FOREX.

The DOJ says Hawkins collected more than 1-point-2 million dollars from his colleagues at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, other law enforcement officers in the county, as well as their friends and relatives for the purpose of trading those funds on the FOREX markets on their behalf.

The DOJ says Hawkins made several false representations to investors, including telling them they would be guaranteed a return of 10-percent per month. These representations were false and at no time were the investments ever profitable. It says that over time Hawkins removed investor funds from FOREX trading accounts into bank accounts he controlled.  He would then use these funds either for his own personal expenses, for personal investments unrelated to FOREX investments, or to fund payments to those of his investors who requested to withdraw their principal investments.

According to government financial analysis, over the course of the scheme, in addition to making Ponzi scheme payments to investors, Hawkins diverted approximately $175,587 for his own uses and purposes. At one point Hawkins applied investor funds toward the purchase of two personal automobiles and in mid-2011, using in excess of at least $70,000 in investor funds to purchase franchises and to set up operations for two semi-professional indoor arena football teams, one located in Danville, Illinois, and the other in Mesquite, Texas. The teams never became operational, and Hawkins was unable to recoup these funds.

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