Federal regulators say a North Carolina couple persuaded investors to cash out their retirement funds and then bilked them out of more than $32 million.
The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday that a federal judge agreed to freeze the assets of Sidney and Charlotte Hanson. Sidney Hanson pleaded guilty in July to securities fraud and money laundering.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charges in a civil lawsuit that the Charlotte couple spoke at church gatherings and other meetings and got about 500 people to invest in private loan agreements through Queen Shoals Entities.
The SEC says the couple never invested the money and instead spent it on risky investments and personal expenses.