Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Dale Edward Lowell just needed a bit more money. A few dollars here and there - anything to help him make another investment in a stock market he was sure he could figure out. It never worked, but, in his mind, success was just another investment away.
That’s what the former North Idaho real estate agent told a federal judge Wednesday when he was sentenced to three years in prison for a Ponzi scheme that collected more than $2 million from duped investors in the Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene area. Lowell met many of the investors while a pianist for a Sandpoint church.
The Securities and Exchange Commission accuses the owner of a bankrupt Spokane-based payday loan business with conducting a massive Ponzi scheme.
The civil complaint alleges that Doris “Dee” Nelson stole investor money to pay for an upscale lifestyle that included expensive cars and gambling jaunts to Las Vegas.
Nelson lives with her family in Colbert. The SEC alleges she defrauded investors in her company, Little Loan Shoppe, by misrepresenting the profitability and safety of their investments and giving them the false impression that their money was being used to grow her business.
A former Sandpoint real estate agent has pleaded guilty to six federal felonies for a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $2 million.
Dale Edward Lowell, 59, now of Colbert, faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced in October, but a plea deal approved Tuesday in U.S. District Court calls for prosecutors to ask for a low sentence and $1.7 million in restitution.
That doesn’t sit well with Jeffrey Bales of Sandpoint. His now ex-wife met Lowell when he worked as a pianist at the Church of the Nazrene in Sandpoint. The two began a secret affair, and Bales’ wife persuaded him to invest nearly $180,000 in Lowell’s investment scheme, “Dale’s Investment Club.
The president of a Spokane-based company under investigation for an alleged $50 million-plus Ponzi scheme is to give up a motor home and Corvette, according to a legal notice published last week.
An Internal Revenue Service official declined comment on the probe involving Doris Nelson, president of Little Loan Shoppe LLC, and affiliates, saying any underlying civil or criminal complaints — if any — are under seal.
Bert Caldwell wrote about this and several other financial and business-related frauds in a story you can read here.
Agents of the FBI and IRS Tuesday searched the offices of Team Spirit America, the operating affiliate of a payday loan business that investors allege was a Ponzi scheme.
An agent posted inside the door of the offices at 1801 W. Broadway Ave. declined to comment on the activity, or whether a search warrant had been issued.
Spokesmen for the IRS, FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office also would not respond to questions. Washington State Patrol officers were present during the search.
Team Spirit is managed by Doris Nelson, founder of Little Loan Shoppe, which made short-term installment loans. Little Loan Shoppe, as LLS America LLC, filed bankruptcy in August.
Read the rest of Bert Caldwell’s story here.