Financial planner pleads guilty to swindling clients out of at least $10 million


An Eden Prairie financial planner admitted in federal court that he hatched a plan to cheat his clients out of at least $10 million by setting up a Ponzi scheme.

Sean Meadows pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud and money laundering. The Justice Department says Meadows, 41, convinced his victims to withdraw money from their retirement and savings accounts by promising investment returns of up to 10 percent.

But instead of investing the money, he set up the Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors say he swindled 50 clients in several states and used the money to pay for expenses that included credit card bills, a vehicle, travel to Las Vegas, gambling at casinos and online, and $100,000 in adult entertainment.

As WCCO reports, the fraud is said to have occurred over a period of seven years, ending last spring.

The Star Tribune reports some of Meadows' victims have reacted so emotionally to his crimes that armed guards were on hand for his guilty plea to protect him as he left court.

His attorney tells the newspaper Meadows was approached and threatened by one of his former clients after a previous hearing.

The victims include 65-year-old Susan Gosz, who says Meadows' scheme cost her all of the $200,000 in her retirement account and the money from a refinancing of her Golden Valley home, the Star Tribune reports.

No sentencing date was announced.

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips for selecting a financial planner.

Next Up

plow, snow

NWS: Accumulating snow likely this weekend in Minnesota

Fluffy snow will pile up in some locations on Saturday.

Jaden McDaniels

Wolves lose to Magic on Cole Anthony's buzzer-beater

The Wolves blew a 20-point lead as the Magic defeated the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

J.A. Happ

Twins sign veteran J.A. Happ to add to the rotation

The left-hander will get a one-year, $8 million deal from the Twins.

storm the capitol rally st. paul minnesota state capitol

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among those at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.


Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.