Beckman offers $19M to avoid prison in Ponzi scheme case

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Convicted in June for his part in a $194 million Ponzi scheme managed by convicted business associate Trevor Cook that ripped off 700 investors nationwide, Jason Beckman had a proposal.

If a judge would just cap his prison time to 364 days, Beckman, 43, of Plymouth, who the Star Tribune describes as a brash former Anoka High School hockey star, offered this not-so-modest proposal: $19 million, to be paid to victims of the scheme.

But government prosecutors were not interested in his attempt to buy some freedom and they rejected the deal, the newspaper reports. (And it's not clear where Beckman would have gotten the money anyway.) He's to be sentenced Jan. 3.

Here's a Department of Justice press release that describes Beckman's role, and that of two others, in Cook's scheme. Here's the complaint filed in Minnesota District Court, which details Beckman's role in the fraud.

For his leading role, Twin Cities investor Cook was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2010.

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