Guilty plea in $60 million fraud scheme

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A northeast Georgia man has admitted a scheme to defraud investors in a construction equipment sales business out of $60 million.

Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old Wendell Ray Spell of Gainesville pleaded guilty Monday to one count of wire fraud. Spell faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias of Atlanta said Spell used a Ponzi scheme "to steal millions of dollars from investors who believed they were making wise investment choices."

Evidence showed that from February 2005 to October 2008, Spell
obtained funds to buy equipment through his North Georgia Equipment
Sales LLC and Cornerstone International Investments LLC, promising
investors a 50-50 split in profits or 36 percent annual interest.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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