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Investment adviser gets 20-year sentence in fraud case

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 13:25:09-04

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A Maryland investment adviser has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, some of which she spent on astrological gems, cosmetic medical procedures and religious rituals in India.

The federal judge who sentenced Dawn Bennett on Wednesday presided over a two-week trial last year that resulted in Bennett’s conviction on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud.

Jurors heard testimony that Bennett used investors’ money to pay more than $800,000 for prayers by Hindu priests in India to ward off federal investigators while her business was collapsing.

An FBI agent’s affidavit said investigators found evidence in Bennett’s home that she tried to silence U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators by casting “hoodoo” spells.