By KIMBERLEY HAAS
People who were victimized by what investigators have called the biggest Ponzi scheme in New Hampshire history can apply for compensation.
In a news release, officials from the state’s Department of Justice announced that victims of Financial Resources Mortgage, Inc., and CL&M, Inc., can start filing applications to seek compensation from the FRM Victims’ Contribution Recovery Fund.
People can submit an application either by printing, filling out, and mailing the paper version or by completing and sending the electronic version.
The application deadline is May 18.
After Financial Resources Mortgage collapsed in 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Scott Farah of Meredith, NH, and Donald Dodge of Belmont, NH, claiming they operated a fraudulent Ponzi scheme involving a purported private lending plan.
As a part of the scheme, investors were offered annual returns of 12% to 20%. They were told invested money would be segregated for a specific project which was agreed upon.
According to the Commission’s complaint, investor money was used for paying returns to earlier investors, paying personal expenses, paying operating expenses of Financial Resources Mortgage, Inc. and CL&M, Inc.
Money was donated to Center Harbor Christian Church, a church founded and owned by Farah’s father, and of which Farah was treasurer, according to the release issued at the time.
Farah pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud in 2011. He was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
Farah was denied a request for compassionate release in May, according to the Associated Press.
The Laconia Daily Sun reported Dodge was released in January of 2017 after serving his six-year sentence.
The group of 150 investors who lost at least $20 million were not compensated.
Last year, lawmakers appropriated $10 million to a recovery fund for victims. A new bill may terminate the fund on July 1, 2023, with any remaining funds lapsing into the general fund if it is passed.
What should you do if you qualify for compensation?
Frequently asked questions and answers are posted online and can be accessed here.
Email story ideas to Editor Kimberley Haas: [email protected]