ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Her home and investment firm were raided in March by the FBI, and now the woman behind a suspected Ponzi scheme is facing a federal indictment and a bill of more than $100 million.
Lydia Cladek faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all counts that were in today's indictment.
Cladek was the president of the investment company Lydia Cladek Inc.
Investigators said she was using investment money to purchase high interest auto loans, and guaranteeing her investors a return of 15 to 20 percent.
The indictment indicates she then issued promissory notes secured by the vehicles and car notes, then used the money to support her lifestyle, buy property, and pay off other investors, thus hiding the fraudulent use of the money.
The charges against Cladek include wire and mail fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
Her maximum penalty would be 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $3.5 million, but the indictment also indicates the government is seeking a money judgment of $113,235,968.02, which represents the value of the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.
First Coast News