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Feds: Jews targeted in Ponzi scheme

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U.S. authorities have charged a Chicago-based firm with defrauding its mostly Orthodox Jewish investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday accused WexTrust and its principals, Steven Byers and Joseph Shereshevsky, of deceiving more than 1,000 investors and diverting over $100 million to unauthorized purposes.

According to the SEC, the Ponzi scheme “primarily” targeted Orthodox Jews.

Shereshevsky lived in Norfolk, Va., and was known to be a supporter of many Jewish causes. He is also a convicted felon who pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 2003.

The SEC sought an emergency order to freeze assets belonging to the defendants and to place WexTrust’s assets in receivership.

 

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