A North Carolina man convicted of bilking investors of $4 million by promising extravagant returns on silver ingots was sentenced in Eugene to 10 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Cardani says Richard Dompier had 5,000 victims in 41 countries, United States, Canada and England.
Investigators said he promised potential investors that if they invested $98, he would give them a one-ounce bar of silver and commission checks totaling more than $15,000 over 14 months.
Some early investors did get checks. But in classic Ponzi-scheme fashion, they were paid with the money from later investors.
Meanwhile, Dompier used some of his gains to sponsor a NASCAR driver and start a motorcycle company.
The government says Dompier first operated out of Roseburg, and then later in North Carolina, Minnesota and England.