Former Uxbridge Church Elder Strikes Plea Deal in $3.4m Ponzi Scheme
By Brian Lee
Telegram & Gazette
March 25, 2016
A former church elder who took about $3.4 million from about 25 people in a Ponzi scheme from 2010 to 2014 entered a plea deal this week with a federal prosecutor that calls for 24 to 41 months in prison and more than $1.6 million restitution.
Charles L. Erickson of Uxbridge waived the indictment and pleaded guilty to wire fraud Thursday in U.S. District Court.
Mr. Erickson, who will be sentenced June 28, faced up to 20 years' incarceration. He is also subject to 36 months of supervised release, according to terms of the plea agreement in the court.
The criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Bryan McKay in September said Mr. Erickson began collecting money around 2010 from investors for trading futures contracts. Those are contracts between two parties to buy or sell an asset for a price agreed upon today, with delivery and payment occurring at a future point, the delivery date.
Mr. Erickson recruited investors, many from Connect Community Church in Ashland, where he was a church elder. He said he believed the Holy Spirit gave him a proprietary system for day trading a particularly volatile futures contract on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.