ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s the biggest Ponzi scheme in New Mexico’s history, and now Doug Vaughan’s case is being used to show people all over the country where not to invest.
Vaughan swindled about $75 million from more than 600 victims to pay for a lavish lifestyle. In 2012, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department’s Securities Division produced a documentary last year on Vaughan’s case to be used for teaching investors.
“The Doug Vaughan case happens to be characterized as most everybody in the law enforcement community as being the single largest financial crime in the history of New Mexico,” said Alan Wilson, director of the state’s Securities Division.
The documentary features real people who lost their life savings. The Securities Division intended to just show the film at senior centers and to various organizations around the state.
People around the U.S. have taken note. The documentary has been screened by an international organization dedicated to investor protection at its annual conference. The Department of Justice has also asked to use the documentary, and so has the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Wilson calls the documentary a great teaching tool.
“In truth, many of the cases are more subtle than this one, but it gives you a good idea if you’ve never seen it before as to how the thing works and what to look out for,” Wilson said.