IDAHO FALLS -- A federal judge has ordered a Rexburg man to pay more than $11 million in restitution and penalties for a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 10 people.
The penalties are proposed in a consent decree between the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Michael Justin Hoopes.
A lawsuit filed last fall accused Hoopes of running a scheme to dupe investors through his company, Aspen Trading. Starting in 2007, regulators say Hoopes began fraudulently taking investor money to trade stock index commodity futures, used some cash for personal expenses and tried concealing $2 million in losses.
Regulators also say Hoopes also took an additional $9.68 million from a group of mostly Idaho investors for other investments.
As part of his penalty, Hoopes is barred from having any role in commodity trading.