FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --It began with a tip from a close friend about a lucrative investment opportunity. The investment turned out to be a ponzi scheme and the victim lost a big chunk of her retirement savings.
"I was completely shocked and couldn't believe it," said Joanne, Victim.
Joanne is still stunned that Anthony Davis, a one-time trusted friend, lured her into an investment ponzi scam. "I believed in this man. I came to love him, he became part of my family."
The betrayal is still emotional for Joanne and her husband who lost thousands of dollars from their retirement savings.
The scam began when Davis approached Joanne about his idea of buying promissary notes on car loans as an investment. "He had a printed out sheet from his computer about all of the safeguards that he had in place to protect me as an investor," said Joanne.
Joanne agreed to an initial investment of $10,000. The investment seemed promising, the couple who worked in real estate received dividend checks almost immediately. "We thought, 'this is exactly what we need for our retirement'."
After several months, Joanne became suspicious and started looking up some of the VIN numbers on the car notes she supposedly held. She found many discrepancies. "Still even talking about, it is so unbelievable and hurtful, he couldn't have hurt me more if he had taken a knife and stabbed me in the heart and then twisted it."
Davis was running a ponzi scheme. He was paying investors with new investor money coming in. Postal inspectors say always be wary if a deal seems too good to be true. Always ask questions. "Just because you are receiving dividends or interest payments, doesn't necessarily mean it is a legitimate investment," said Kyle Parker, US Postal Inspector.
Anthony Davis pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud.