Prosecutor: More Charges Expected in Alleged “Ponzi Scheme” Investment Fraud

Christopher Dougherty is accused of stealing nearly $8 million from at least 31 families; prosecutors say Poway man preyed on trusting seniors, many of whom lost their life savings.

A Poway man accused of running an investment scheme could soon face more criminal charges. 

In April, NBC 7 Investigates first reported on Christopher Dougherty and his alleged financial scams after 11 investors said they had been waiting years for any return on millions of dollars they invested with Dougherty. One month later, Dougherty was arrested and the San Diego County District Attorney’s office said he defrauded at least 31 families of almost $8 million dollars. 

Dougherty allegedly ran a “Ponzi scheme” in which he used money from new investors to pay existing investors who wanted their money back. 

Eventually, the money ran out, with nothing left for the remaining investors. 

Dougherty is also accused of using investor funds to remodel his home, travel and pay college tuition. 

In court Friday, deputy district attorney Michael Zachry said he has identified 24 more victims. Zachry said he expects to file additional charges against Dougherty before the defendant’s preliminary hearing, scheduled for August 13. 

The prosecutor also said Dougherty has sold a property without approval from the bankruptcy court. 

That information was revealed during a hearing on Dougherty’s request for a significant reduction in bail. 

Superior Court Judge Polly Shamoon denied that request, so Dougherty remains in custody on a $5 million bail.

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