A federal judge has set a bond for a woman accused of swindling more than $2 million from investors in an alleged Ponzi scheme. The granting of bond comes after a prior judge refused to set bond
The Macon Telegraph has the story.
Saundra McKinney Pyles, 52, and Gary Sheldon Hutcheson, 56, are accused of defrauding more than four dozen investors including prominent business owners and doctors from Macon. The scheme allegedly began in 2006 when Hutcheson told potential investors that he would place their money in a hedge fund named Georgia Ionics Fund LLC. Authorities believe that Hutcheson invested $780,000 while pocketing over $1.3 million of the investors’ money. Most of the money that was invested was lost. As a result, Pyles was indicted in April on five counts of mail fraud and five counts of money laundering in the Middle District of Georgia.
On May 20, Magistrate Judge Leon Barfield from the Southern District of Georgia refused to set bond for Pyles. Barfield presided over the case, because the magistrate judge and all four district judges of the Middle District of Georgia recused themselves due to their connections with the alleged victims. The case has since been assigned to Chief Judge Jack T. Camp of the Northern District of Georgia.
Pyle’s attorney, Reza Sedghi, appealed the ruling denying bond, and at the hearing asking the court to reconsider on Tuesday, the judge agreed with Sedghi and Pyles was given a $20,000 bond. However, the bond carries with it a condition that someone will have to come forward and say that they will house Pyles. Further conditions are set to be issued this week.
Pate & Brody is an accomplished Georgia law firm with offices in Atlanta, Macon and Madison. Our lawyers are dedicated to pursuing justice for people charged with serious crimes. We have successfully represented clients facing serious federal criminal charges and state criminal charges in courts across Georgia. Our lawyers have been recognized on the list of Georgia’s “Super Lawyers”, and included among Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine. Page Pate was recently the Chairman of the Criminal Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association.