Ponzi scheme suspect paid $720K for prayers amid SEC probe

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Authorities and a government witness say a woman cast paranormal spells and spent nearly three-quarters of a million dollars on prayers in a desperate attempt to ward off charges that she orchestrated a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Puja.net website operator Benjamin Collins testified this week in Dawn Bennett’s trial that the investment adviser paid him approximately $720,000 to arrange for Hindu priests in India to perform religious ceremonies meant to ease her troubles.

An FBI agent has said previously in an affidavit that investigators found evidence Bennett cast “hoodoo” spells to silence federal investigators before her arrest last year.

Bennett was indicted on fraud charges. Her trial started Oct. 2 and is expected to stretch into next week.

Authorities say she raised more than $20 million from at least 46 investors in her luxury sportswear company and used much of that money for her personal benefit.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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