Manitowoc man sentenced for carrying out $3,100,000 ponzi scheme against elderly victims

MANITOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Manitowoc man was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison on Wednesday for a $3,100,000 ponzi scheme that defrauded elderly victims.

James Nickels, 68, allegedly defrauded 37 victims.

According to the Department of Justice, Nickels was a prominent member of the Manitowoc community for many years and used that status to solicit family, friends, and neighbors to "invest" in his business, which was largely a ponzi scheme.

“As a society, we have an obligation to protect our older members from predators,” said U.S. Attorney Krueger. “This seven-year sentence sends a clear message that taking advantage of elderly persons will be met with severe punishment. This case highlights the Department of Justice’s commitment to working with state and local partners to combat elder fraud.”

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