Lawyer shot and injured by FBI agents admitted orchestrating $300M Ponzi scheme, prosecutor alleges
A Las Vegas lawyer shot and injured by FBI agents last week confessed to orchestrating a $300 million Ponzi scheme, a federal prosecutor told a judge Tuesday.
The lawyer, 49-year-old Matthew Wade Beasley, has been charged with assault on a federal officer for allegedly waving a gun at three FBI agents visiting his home March 3, prompting one or more of them to fire their guns, according to a March 8 press release and the federal criminal complaint.
Beasley had pointed the gun at his head before pointing it in “a sweeping motion” at the FBI agents, according to the criminal complaint.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has coverage of Beasley’s initial hearing, where Beasley participated by videoconference.
Despite being shot in the chest and a shoulder, Beasley refused to leave his home for nearly four hours, said the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Lopez of the District of Nevada.
“The FBI SWAT team had to forcefully enter the home and bring him out,” Lopez said in court. Beasley “repeatedly confessed” to involvement in the scheme, Lopez said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Beasley was released from the hospital Monday.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Elayna J. Youchah of the District of Nevada ordered Beasley to be detained without bond after Lopez said Beasley had significant assets and could flee if released from custody, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Beasley’s assets include at least four homes, two luxury cars and a recreational vehicle, Lopez said.
Beasley’s lawyer, Robert Draskovich, had sought house arrest, according to the the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He argued that his client was “simply overwhelmed” and suffering from “a one-time extreme emotional crisis.”
The Reno Gazette Journal identified Beasley as a personal injury lawyer. He is a graduate of the law school at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He was licensed in Nevada in 2006 and has no prior record of discipline.
Dan Hooge, chief bar counsel for the State Bar of Nevada, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it had not received any prior complaints about Beasley. The bar was gathering facts to launch an ethics investigation.
Prosecutors did not release details of the alleged Ponzi scheme. But the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that the FBI is looking for victims of an investment fraud scheme that sold lawsuit “settlement funding contracts” in connection with slip-and-fall cases. Investors were told to wire money to an IOLTA account.