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Are Ponzi scheme victims getting restitution?

By By Jessica Crandall
Published On: Jul 31 2012 11:19:27 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 01 2012 03:09:46 PM CDT

Former ponzi scheme operator Daren Palmer is making headlines again, as a Bonneville County Republican leader made a federal court appearance Tuesday.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Former Ponzi scheme operator Daren Palmer is making headlines again, as a Bonneville County Republican leader made a federal court appearance Tuesday.

Doyle Beck is accused of accepting money from the infamous Trigon Group, headed by Palmer, who was found guilty of defrauding investors of $100 million.

The same judge who presided over Palmer's case in 2009 has ordered a Rexburg man involved in another Ponzi scheme to pay back his victims.

Michael Justin Hoopes was convicted in civil court of using his company and commodity pool, Aspen Trading, as a guise while he fraudulently took investor deposits.

Local News 8 wanted to know if the victims ever got any money back from these men.

Court receiver Wayne Klein was unable to comment over the phone, but reporter Jessica Crandall found a complete list of this year's court dealings on his website.

On Feb. 21, Klein asked for "approval to make a second interim distribution to investors."

On Mar. 2, "the court ... signed an order allowing the receiver to make a second interim distribution of $300,000 to the 24 investors remaining."

The page goes on to say that checks were "mailed March 5, 2012."

Meanwhile, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge ordered Michael Justin Hoopes of Rexburg to pay $11 million back to his victims.

Crandall called the U.S. Attorney's Office Tuesday to find out exactly how the restitution process works.

Litigator Raphael Gonzales said each case is different and can become very complicated.

A Ponzi scheme is generally known as a form of investment fraud, where the schemer uses investor money to pay false, illegal returns to other victims.

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