Las Vegas Man Charged in $8.5 Million Sports Betting Ponzi Scheme
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: The Westgate Las Vegas Race & Sports SuperBook.
Authorities arrested a Las Vegas man who is accused of using a sports betting Ponzi scheme to defraud 72 people out of over $8.5 million, authorities said Thursday.
Matthew J. Turnipseede allegedly told investors, from March 2015 to May 2021, their money would fund a sports betting operation that promised double-digit returns using a special algorithm, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Turnipseede is accused of never generating any profit and instead using the funds for personal expenses, such as family vacations to Disneyland and Hawaii.
He was charged with 12 counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.
According to the indictment, investors were promised Turnipseede would receive only a percentage of their winning profits. It goes on to allege he funded withdrawal requests from investors using other investors’ deposits.
Turnipseede is accused of using false financial statements to back false gains and employing an accounting firm to generate IRS forms based on fraudulent figures.
A court case is pending with the Northern District of Ohio, where several investors were located.
The case was investigated by the Cleveland FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erica D. Barnhill and Brian McDonough.