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Woman appeals 20-year prison sentence for Ponzi scheme

GREENBELT — A Maryland investment adviser is appealing her conviction and 20-year prison sentence for defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, some of which she spent on astrological gems, cosmetic medical procedures and religious rituals in India.

Dawn Bennett’s attorneys filed a notice last Friday that they are asking the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review her case.

U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Bennett on July 31. Jurors who convicted Bennett last October heard testimony that she used investors’ money to pay more than $800,000 for prayers by Hindu priests in India to ward off federal investigators while her business collapsed.

An FBI agent said investigators found evidence in Bennett’s home that she tried to silence U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators by casting “hoodoo” spells.


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