BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - New U.S. Attorney, Bill Hochul is coming out with both gunsblasting.
He's taking aim at what he said is a multi-million dollar Ponzischeme.
A federal grand jury named three ringleaders in a 51-countindictment, charging 55-year-old Guy Gane, 50-year-old JamesLagona, and 58-year-old Ian Gent in the black suit, with mail fraudand conspiracy.
Prosecutors claim the three defrauded as many as 50 investorsout of nearly $6 million in a sophisticated Ponzi scheme at theirWatermark Financial Services and M-One Holdings offices inAmherst.
U.S. Attorney, William Hochul explained, "The promise of 10%interest for a year. On another occasion, 2% interest per month.And the defendents, among other things, told the investors thatthey were going to invest water-front property."
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Gretchen Wylegala stated, "There weresome letters that were sent when the fraud was under inquiry, bythe company, falsely giving assurance that their money was safe,when in fact the money was long gone."
News 4 cameras were there in 2008, when federal investigatorsshut those operations down, on Sweethome Road in Amherst.
All three defendants were released from custody, without havingto post bail.
Despite the millions of dollars they are accused of stealing,all three men now claim they can't afford their own lawyers, whichdoesn't set well with some of their victims.
Scam victim, Tom Campbell said, "I had $33,000 taken. Ya knowwhat, that's a drop in the bucket compared to some people, who hada lot more taken."
At least one other co-defendant in this case has been convictedand sent to prison.
Another is reportedly ready to agree to a plea bargain inexchange for his testimony.
There is another Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties from Thursday through early Friday.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings return today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
Viewers sent in photos from the snowfall around Western New York.
The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office says a tractor trailer crashed on Route 39, in the Town of Eagle.