U.S. Marshalls have finally caught Nelson Gran Hallahan and his wife Janet, a duo who ran a Ponzi scheme that earned them the nickname the 'Mini Madoffs' couple. The couple had been on the run for the past 12 years.
The 'Mini Madoffs' couple eluded capture by living in several states in the Southwest and using aliases, reported the Associated Press.
The 12-year run from justice of the Hallahans, also known as the 'Mini Madoffs,' has come to an end, U.S. Marshal for Arizona David Gonzales said according to A-Z Central. Their investment scams involving family, friends, and the elderly, ruined many lives. Whether stealing with a gun or by a fast talker with an easy smile, the damage to the victim is serious and irreparable.
They were found in Tonopah, a community close to Phoenix, Arizona, where authorities believe they have been living for the past couple of years.
They were featured on an episode of 'America's Most Wanted' the night before their captu.re. Police received an anonymous tip on their location.
The Hallahan's operated their Ponzi scheme out of Peoria, Illinois. Family members and friends began investing money with the couple, who promised significant returns on investments, reported the Associated Press. In actuality, they repaid earlier investors with the money obtained from the new ones.
The couple even took Janet's parents life insurance and cashed it in before their death, reported the Daily Mail.
When their cash started to run out, they sold interests to a tanning salon they owned which they later sold without telling their investors.
The Marshall Service said the couple laundered millions of dollars that they spend on expensive items like yachts, which they named SPOLYT, designer clothes, and luxury vehicles.
The couple was brought to court in 2000 for owing nearly $1.2 million to investors. They appeared in Illinois federal court and pleaded guilty to bank and mail fraud conspiracy and money laundering. They did not show up on t the day of their sentencing, electing instead to start a life on the run, reported the Associated Press.
Nelson Gran Hallahan, 65, worked as an insurance salesman in Peoria in the 1980s. Janet, 54, was her husband's secretary until they married in 1988, reported the Daily Mail.