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Accusers pack courtroom for Ponzi scheme hearing

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EASTON, Pa. (AP) — An eastern Pennsylvania man is headed to trial on charges he ran a bogus investment scam that bilked dozens of people out of a total of $10 million.

More than 50 people packed last week’s preliminary hearing for 67-year-old Richard Freer in Northampton County Court.

See: The bad bunch

Authorities contend the Palmer Township financial adviser masterminded a massive scheme that bilked 90 people, most of them elderly, out of tens of thousands of dollars in savings and retirement funds.

He was charged in September with multiple counts of theft, forgery and related counts.

Prosecutors allege that for years, Freer claimed to be investing his clients’ money in real estate trusts. Investigators said the former bank president was instead spending the cash on himself or using it to pay other investors.

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