Las Vegas, NV

"Slip-and-fall" Ponzi scheme targeted Mormons; over $500 million lost leaving lives ruined

Pete Lakeman
Photo byPixabay

Matthew Beasely had more than a law practice going on. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Beasely, 49, knew his gig was done one Thursday in March last year. The visit from the FBI, which he had been anticipating for a few months came to bear on him. He was prepared. He had already drafted letters to his wife and four children, describing what he would do and telling them how much he loved them.

Authorities had suspected for quite some time that Beasley and his partner, Jeffrey Judd, were running a Ponzi scheme that mainly targeted Mormons, as members of  Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are often called. Pitched as a risk-free investment, the scheme promised 50 percent annual returns for lending their money to slip-and-fall victims awaiting checks after the settlement of their claims. He would pay existing investors with money from new clients.

About $ 500 million was invested by over 900 people from all walks of life including surgeons, Mormon bishops, and stay-at-home mothers. With some of the victims emptying their retirement accounts, they have nothing left to live on and could be forced to sell their homes. One woman had even accepted one of those investments as alimony hoping to live off the dividends. The scheme perpetrators  lived large, buying luxury vehicles, a private jet, and cryptocurrency. Judd had built an $ 6.6 million mountainside mansion.

When The FBI rang his doorbell, Beasely stepped out fully in the doorway and held a loaded pistol to his head. FBI agents asked him  to go easy and drop the gun. In an account that Beasley disputes, the FBI says that he pointed his gun towards the agents forcing them to open fire striking him in the chest and shoulder.

At the time this story was reported on the Washington Post, only Beasely had been criminally charged with threatening and endangering the lives of law enforcement officers. He is currently incarcerated, and several charges regarding the Ponzi scheme will most likely be brought against him and his accomplices once the investigation is concluded.

As the old saying goes, when it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Disclaimer: This article was written for educational and informational purposes only.

Thanks for reading my article. Please don’t forget to like it, and share it with friends and family.

Comments / 35

Published by

I'm credentialed social studies and biological sciences teacher with over twenty years of classroom experience. I'm an avid gardener and tech DIYer and I love nature walks.

California State

More from Pete Lakeman

Comments / 0