Interstate Marijuana Duo Charged With Ponzi-Scheming Cattle Investments For Their Weed Business


Gabrielle Temaat Contributor
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An Illinois woman and Georgia man were indicted for running a cattle Ponzi scheme to solicit money for their weed business.

Reva Joyce Stachniw, 69, and Ron Throgmartin, 57, ran the scheme from late 2017 to early 2019 with a third conspirator, Mark Ray, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The conspirators targeted investors across the U.S. and solicited hundreds of millions of dollars. Stachniw and Throgmartin lied to their victims by promising that their investments were backed by other cattle investments. They also told investors that their money would be used for legitimate business purposes related to cattle or marijuana, according to the DOJ.

Victim-investors were also told that they would see returns of 10% to 20% in several weeks. However, Stachniw and Throgmartin did not tell their victims that the money would be used to pay other investors in their Ponzi-scheme or they would keep the money for themselves, according to the DOJ. (RELATED: 8 Charged In $860,000 Minnesota Medicaid Scheme)

The duo is being charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, five counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to transfer money illegally.

The conspirators will face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted for the first count, 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the counts of wire fraud, and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for unlawful money transactions, according to the DOJ.