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Marin County Ponzi scheme victim, investor gears up for class-action hearing in June

Ponzi Scheme

Marin County Ponzi scheme victim, investor gears up for class-action hearing in June

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While masterminds of what authorities say was a $330 million Ponzi scheme in Marin County were living the good life buying celebrity estates and other lavish luxuries for years, Tina Benson was looking forward to her own good life in retirement.

Instead, the Sausalito woman is hoping a class action suit will help her gain back more than $500,000 she says she lost at the hands of Professional Financial Investors and Professional Investors Securities Fund, based at 350 Ignacio Blvd. in Novato. Casey’s two firms have declared bankruptcy, and the courts approved the selloff of millions of dollars in property.

However, Benson has since only recovered $121,000 as one of 1,267 investors bilked by the late Kenneth Casey, the investment firms’ founder, and the companies’ CEO, Lewis Wallach, an Encino man who started out as a bookkeeper there. Casey died of a heart attack in May 2020, and Wallach was convicted of fraud last year.

“I’m 60. I’m supposed to be preparing for retirement. Now I can’t retire, and I’ll be working full time. This is not the future I planned,” Benson said, adding she’s not alone. “Many investors have declared bankruptcy. Some can’t pay their utilities. It’s been devastating.”

Both she and her ex-husband had invested and lost money in Casey’s real estate firms from the sale of their house they owned together before their divorce.

The real estate magnet has been accused of running the investment scheme alongside Wallach,…

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