Updated: 05/22/2014 10:10 PM
Created: 05/22/2014 8:50 PM KSTP.com
By: Stephen Tellier
Investigators are digging into what they say could be a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme, possibly involving the retirement accounts of more than 50 Minnesotans.
The investigation is focused on Sean Meadows, a financial planner based in Minneapolis. He has not been charged with any crime at this time, and his attorney said Meadows is cooperating with the investigation.
But search warrants recently executed on Meadows' office and Eden Prairie home spell out the case against him.
"I really feel betrayed by the guy," said Nancy Gosz, who retired early due to a degenerative, disabling disease.
She and her husband, Mike, said they trusted Meadows, the owner of Meadows Financial Group, with her retirement savings. Now, they say, it's gone.
"I would ask him, 'Well, what bond? And what's the interest rate?' He'd say, 'Well, I don't have all those details worked out,' and then he would change the subject," Mike Gosz said. "He'd walk out of our house, and I'd be thinking to myself, 'What just happened?'"
"He would talk fast, and he'd write fast, and pretty much assure us that he had us all taken care of," Nancy Gosz said.
A few weeks ago, Meadows' office near Lake Calhoun, and his home, were both raided.
In search warrants, investigators describe, "a scheme perpetrated by Meadows to fraudulently induce victims into surrendering retirement accounts." The documents go on to state, "Meadows falsely represented to victims that their money would be placed in bonds... Instead, Meadows used the money he collected from victims to pay significant personal expenses and to make small payments to individuals who appear… to be victim investors."
Investigators stated they believe, "Meadows is operating a Ponzi scheme."
"All of my retirement money appears to be gone," Nancy Gosz said.
That's more than $200,000. Court documents show the grand total could be much higher.
"$11 million of people's money, and it's mostly retirees," Mike Gosz said.
For Nancy Gosz, the toll is both financial and emotional.
"A wave of sadness, and sudden grief and sorrow - like, 'Wow, it's gone,' - to being just really royally angry and mad," Nancy Gosz said.
Meadows' attorney said many of the allegations contained in the search warrants are incorrect, but that others may be closer to the truth. The warrants state investigators believe there is probable cause that Meadows committed wire fraud and money laundering, and that there may be more than 50 victims - and even more in Arizona and Indiana.