A pastor in Cape Cod has been accused of defrauding investors out of $3.5 million in a Ponzi scheme that federal authorities say spanned nine years and included dozens of victims across the country.
David Amesbury, 69, who has led churches in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, was arrested Tuesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations after an indictment was unsealed charging him with wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. He appeared Wednesday in federal court in Boston but did not enter a plea.
According to the indictment, Amesbury operated DBAMS Corp. in Hyannis and used it “to carry out an elaborate Ponzi scheme which he began perpetrating” in November 2002. The money was raised from at least 74 investors, mostly retired people, who were told their funds would be invested in software that would preserve capital and generate returns of 18 percent or more, according to court documents.
The investors’ money went into three bank accounts controlled by either DBAMS or Ponzi payments made to earlier investors, authorities allege. The company paid 14 early investors nearly $2 million during the course of the scheme to make them whole when other investments failed, but the payments only slowed the bleeding for other victims.
The indictment states that at least $3.5 million was lost by the investors, who were promised they would get their money back plus profits. Court documents indicate some were paid back part of what they gave to Amesbury but only after other victims began asking for their money back in 2009 and 2010.
The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained an emergency court order May 29 to freeze the company’s assets, alleging DBAMS raised about $8 million since 2008 through sales of promissory notes, using much of it “for its own purposes.” Investors were told their funds would be used for “software development” and other business expenses, according to court documents.
The Italian town of Bologna has been at the forefront of scientific research for centuries. The city was a hotbed for scientists in the Middle Ages and a center of physics research in the 18th century. Now, Bologna is once again taking its place at the global forefront of scientific inquiry—this time as ground zero for top researchers studying deviant sexual behavior.
The city, known for its world-class university, quaint medieval architecture and delicious cuisine, is the home base of a research consortium that includes scholars from Harvard, Yale and UCLA. The team recently completed a study of more than 100 men who frequent prostitutes to see if their sexual preferences can be broken down into categories based on behavior. The results were surprising, even to those who have dedicated their lives to studying the matter: Of the 100 subjects, only 21 percent could be categorized as heterosexual, with the remaining 79 percent splitting almost evenly between bisexual and homosexual…
Among the findings were that one man’s “type” was young female prostitutes dressed up as schoolgirls; another man preferred women dressed as police officers; another enjoyed having sex with obese women while they were wearing uniforms; still another desired sex with pregnant women.