Investment groups are often under intense scrutiny when returns on investments don't come out as originally intended. Some employees of such companies find themselves under investigation for federal criminal charges in these cases. This is the case for a Michigan man who is accused of taking part in a Ponzi scheme.

The man facing these federal charges is said to have defrauded investors through a real-estate-based scheme in which he claimed he was using funds to buy distressed properties that would be rehabbed and sold for a profit. It is alleged that he was actually funneling the money into his own pockets. He is facing allegations from the state that he pocketed around $47,000 of the $474,000 total of the scheme. Nine felony charges, including one count of continuing criminal enterprise, have been filed against him.

According to reports, the man is currently in Germany and planning to come back to the United States to surrender. He denies that he did wrong and stated that there is no evidence of a Ponzi scheme. He goes on to say that the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has filed a complaint against him, has backed off of using the term. A date for his arraignment will be made once he is in custody.

Those who deal with other people's investments should have a clear understanding of rights and responsibilities associated with those investments. When things don't go according to plan, a good understanding of the law can make facing investigations and federal charges a little easier.

Source:, "Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charges Bay City businessman Joel Wilson with 9 felonies," Kathryn Lynch-Morin, Jan. 14, 2013