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Sarasota Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010 5 years ago

Alleged Ponzi schemers appear in court

by: Robin Roy City Editor

John and Marian Morgan, the Sarasota couple charged in a Ponzi scheme, were extradited to Florida Jan. 5 from Virginia and faced a federal judge Jan. 6, in Tampa.

John Morgan pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and will await a detention hearing that has yet to be scheduled.

Marian Morgan only had an initial appearance before a judge, who set her detention hearing for Friday, Jan. 8. The judge is expected to determine whether she is eligible for bail.

The Morgans are accused of swindling at least $14 million from investors.

After a June 25 court hearing in Tampa, in which a judge ordered the Morgans to stop their investment activities, the couple flew to Switzerland. They sent investors an e-mail claiming they were in Denmark and reassuring them that their money was safe, because it was out of the jurisdiction of the United States.

When the judge learned the Morgans were violating his order, he called them back to his courtroom July 16 to face possible contempt charges. When the couple failed to appear, the judge issued a warrant for their arrest.

A month later they were arrested in Sri Lanka, for trying to pass a bad check. They were held in a Sri Lankan jail until Dec. 10, when federal marshals escorted them to Alexandria, Va., where they were held until this week.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].

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