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Ponzi schemer who duped Miller convicted

A Sioux Falls man has been convicted of using a Ponzi scheme to swindle a nationwide group of investors, including NBA basketball player and Mitchell native Mike Miller, out of a combined $10.5 million.

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The Argus Leader reports 65-year-old Randal Kent Hansen, of Sioux Falls, has been found guilty by a federal jury of more than two dozen counts of wire fraud and mail fraud in connection with the scheme. Hansen faces up to 20 years in prison on each count. He will be sentenced April 28.

Hansen was accused of luring investors to RAHFCO Hedge Funds, which he claimed “traded options and futures on the S&P 500,” according to court documents filed last March

The Securities and Exchange Commission claimed Hansen misled investors, and used later investments to pay investors who bought in early. At the same time, he was using investor funds for his own purposes, court documents say.

From 2007 to 2011, Hansen and a co-conspirator, Vincent Puma, of Morganville, N.J., attracted more than 100 investors and took in approximately $23.5 million in investments, court documents say.

Miller filed lawsuits last year against Hansen and Puma in an attempt to recover his money.

Miller’s complaint, filed in February 2012, says he invested $200,000 with Hansen through RAHFCO. That money was part of a $700,000 loan from RAHFCO to AMB New Generation Data Empowerment, an Illinois-based company, given in 2008.

In 2010, AMB filed for bankruptcy and, Miller’s complaint says, Hansen failed to file a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court, which led to a total loss for investors. Miller is seeking damages in an amount to be proven at trial, the complaint says.

In a separate lawsuit filed last August, Miller sought to recover another $1.7 million he invested in RAHFCO in 2010.

Scott Abdallah, a lawyer representing Miller, told the Argus Leader that Miller still has a case pending in state court, and that Miller has already been repaid “a substantial amount” of the money he lost.