Consumer Watch: Woman Accused in Ponzi Scheme Behind Bars
By Amanda Taylor, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Consumer Watch has been investigating a woman accused of a Ponzi scheme for over a year. She has now pleaded guilty to stealing money.
A tearful Dawn Quiroga pleaded with the judge. She said, "For the duration of this I have felt much distress and trouble. I have asked God for forgiveness and my heart hurts daily for the trauma I've caused the victims and their families." Mark Shell, one of her victims, said he accepts her apology but he will never be able to trust people again.
NEWS 9's Consumer Watch Team started investigating Dawn Quiroga about a year and a half ago. Her company, Buyers Solutions Marketing, offered a down-payment-assistance program which in theory would provide short-term, high interest loans for people to use as down payments when purchasing homes.
Quiroga needed investors to fund those loans, but admitted when the money came in, she didn't use it for loans. She pocketed some of the money and prosecutors say it became a Ponzi scheme when she took money from new investors to pay off prior investors. She carried the scheme on for about two years.
It has all come to an end. In court, she admitted to stealing $11 million from hundreds of investors. A judge sentenced her to eight years in prison. Her victims were there as the sentence came down and so was NEWS 9. See how this has affected Oklahomans, tonight on NEWS 9 at 10 p.m.