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Youngsville man indicted in connection with million dollar Ponzi scheme

Posted at 4:35 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 17:35:19-05

A Youngsville man has been indicted on nine counts of wire fraud stemming from his involvement in a million dollar Ponzi scheme which was orchestrated through his limited liability company, Capital Energy Investments (“Capital”), according to United States Attorney David C. Joseph.

39-year-old Donnie Laing, 39, of Youngsville, was indicted Thursday in connection with the scheme.

According to the indictment, Laing was the sole owner of Capital, which was formed in February 2017. From April 16, 2018 through November 1, 2018, Laing allegedly orchestrated a Ponzi scheme whereby he and a well-known associate in northeast Louisiana, solicited money from multiple investors by falsely promising them high rates of return when they invested with his company, Capital. Laing represented that Capital would use the money to invest in oil and gas equipment, and then lease such equipment to companies engaged in oil and gas exploration activities.

Throughout the scheme, Laing allegedly submitted false proposals and contracts to the Ponzi investors to persuade them to invest their money with Capital. He also allegedly used funds from new investors to make “lulling” payments to his victims to solicit additional monies and to avoid detection. Contrary to his representations, Laing used investor funds for his own purposes, the indictment states.

Laing faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of the indictment, restitution to the victims, and a fine up to $250,000 fine.

The FBI is investigating the case. United States Attorney David C. Joseph is prosecuting the case.