A North Carolina Trump-supporting political action committee treasurer has been arrested and charged with a Ponzi scheme, the Daily Beast reported Monday. David Schamens is accused of duping 25 investors to the tune of $6.8 million to fund his vacations, luxury cars, and home.
The Justice Department release explained that the effort began in 2014 when he controlled several trading companies while promising a return rate of 12 to 30 percent. The complaint detailed that, in the case of one victim from Florida, Schamens didn't even invest the money he was given.
Instead, he "funneled the money through various successive transfers to accounts that he controlled and ultimately used the funds to: (a) finance SCHAMENS' lifestyle; (b) pay personal debts, including legal fees; (c) pay back prior victims in the manner of a Ponzi scheme; and (d) finance other expenditures unrelated to the investments made by Victim-1," the court documents detail.
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By 2019, Schamens was asking for investments for another firm called, Tradestream Algo Fund, which the Justice Department describes as "an algorithm-based trading pool that he claimed to have developed." He then told investors to send him the cash directly into his personal accounts.
The probe was part of a long-time investigation that happened, in part, during former President Donald Trump's administration. But according to Schamens, it's all a witch hunt.
“This is thermonuclear war now,” he told The Daily Beast. “It’s made up. I believe 5,000 subpoenas have been sent out in the last year, have they not? I believe there’s a statement by [Attorney General] Merrick Garland that said they’re going after anybody who supported January 6th, whether they were there or not. I wasn't there, but that's the point—it doesn't matter if you were there.”
While there have been about 5,000 subpoenas sent out related to the Jan. 6 attack, the information documenting Schamens's case dates back long before the Capitol attack.
His PAC “America Comes First" was established in 2016 and went on the attack against Hillary Clinton's emails, going so far as to claim that Trump better understood national security. Over four years later, Trump would be caught taking top-secret documents back to Mar-a-Lago with him upon leaving the White House.
In 2018, while Trump was in the White House, Schamens' investors started demanding their money back. He "returned some…funds, in part by using incoming funds from other investors in the manner of a Ponzi scheme,” the DOJ complaint says.
Others were promised their money, only to get nothing in return.
As for the Trump PAC, a ProPublica investigation revealed that they weren't "obeying any campaign finance law whatsoever," a lawyer explained.
"Two days after the election, America Comes First posted a now-deleted photo on Facebook that showed Schamens meeting with President-Elect Trump," said the Daily Beast.
The Beast revealed that Schamens swears that he "testified against Hillary Clinton in a secret grand jury in 1997,” because he had evidence of “millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions out of China. So you can draw your conclusions from that.”
"That’s where this all started," Schamens continued. "With that b*tch Hillary Clinton… I had my computer seized [by the feds], I had all my information seized, my daughter and my wife had automatic weapons pointed at them when they took it at 6 o’clock in the morning on August 31st."
"We’ll get her," he claimed of Clinton.