Photos Show Dawn Bennett’s High-flying Lifestyle
Exhibits unsealed on Monday in federal court in Maryland reveal some of the spoils that barred advisor and radio show host Dawn Bennett enjoyed from her alleged $20 million Ponzi scheme.
As evidence of the “wealth of personal effects demonstrative of her lifestyle,” FBI agent Keith A. Custer’s affidavit filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office included photos taken during an August 2 search of Bennett’s penthouse apartment in Chevy Chase, Md., that included a walk-in closet filled with shoes and sunglasses.
Bennett, 55, used the money allegedly raised from 46 clients to invest in a luxury apparel business she was running to pay off earlier investors, buy personal items and cover the cost of a $500,000 suite at AT&T Stadium to watch Dallas Cowboys games.
After receiving $600,000 from one investor, Bennett in November 2016, paid a $159,399 American Express charge to cover expenses that include more than $8,000 of anti-aging and weight loss treatments, a $10,575 “pharmacy charge,” and a Ritz Carlton South Beach hotel charge of $7,836.
Agents also took photos of freezers filled with dozens of sealed Mason jars of beef tongues labeled with initials of SEC attorneys. The jars appeared to be “hoodoo spells” aimed at “silencing” the lawyers investigating Bennett, according to the affidavit.
The U.S. Attorney’s office has charged Bennett with wire fraud, bank fraud and false statements in relation to loan and credit applications. The SEC has filed civil fraud charges and is also seeking disgorgement and unspecified civil penalties.