August 2, 2015
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Investigators say 1,200 people could be out up to $138 million, victims of what they described as a Ponzi scheme.
The man the FBI says was behind the scheme, 67-year-old John W. Otto, committed suicide last week in Palm Desert. Otto ran an equipment leasing company based in Fresno.
The FBI began looking into HL Leasing after investors complained in April they had not received interest payments. In Ponzi schemes, the mastermind often uses money from new investors to pay others.
Fresno attorney Donald Fischbach says he set up a conference call for investors expecting 20, but 90 joined in and nearly 200 in total have contacted his office. They invested between $40,000 and $1.7 million.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.