2 more men sentenced in $9M Ponzi scheme

From left to right: Doug Kacos and Thomas Doctor. (Oct. 15, (2/4)From left to right: Doug Kacos and Thomas Doctor. (Oct. 15, 2013)
From left to right: Doug Kacos and Thomas Doctor. (Oct. 15, (2/4)From left to right: Doug Kacos and Thomas Doctor. (Oct. 15, 2013)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two people charged in connection to a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $9 million were sentenced Monday, but neither will spend time in jail.

Doug Kacos, the owner of the Grand Rapids area New Beginnings restaurant chain, was sentenced to three years of probation. He must pay $350 in court costs, a $130 crime victim fee and $68 in state costs.

Thomas Doctor was sentenced to three years of probation and 50 hours of community service. He must pay $700 in court costs, a $130 crime victim fee and $68 in state costs.

The pair was charged in October with money laundering in connection to a Ponzi scheme exposed by Target 8 in 2009. Authorities say it netted about $9 million and victimized around 140 people. Scheme mastermind Jeff Ripley and another man, Danny VanLiere, have both pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison.

Kacos deposited or cashed checks from the scheme and gave money to Ripley and VanLiere, according to federal authorities. Both Kacos and Doctor organized crews to transfer the money via Western Union or Moneygram to a number of locations overseas.

Kacos pleaded guilty and Doctor pleaded no contest to the money laundering charges in December.

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