Hauze pleads not guilty in Solana Beach-based Ponzi scheme case
Mark Todd Hauze, accused of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme based in Solana Beach from 2002 to 2005, pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of mail fraud and eight counts of wire fraud in federal court last week.
Hauze allegedly solicited more than $10 million from victims’ retirement accounts for his Universal Money Traders fund, which advertised a 30 percent or greater annual return. Further, UMT guaranteed that losses would be limited to no more than 15 percent for each $2,000 invested.
Instead, Hauze is accused of using the money for personal use, honoring withdrawal requests with money from new investors, reporting bogus trading results and sending statements with false balances. Meanwhile, UMT is said to have lost the original funds with the bad investments made.
“We’re contesting each and every allegation,” said Jason Conforti, an attorney representing Hauze.
Prosecutors declined to comment while the case is being argued. A jury has been selected, and Conforti estimated that the trial would last about two weeks.
— Jonathan Horn
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