Man pleads innocent in fraud scheme

LAS VEGAS - A 50-year-old Las Vegas resident suspected of bilking more than 300 investors out of $15 million has pleaded innocent in federal court.

Jerry Womack was arrested by the FBI Friday after agents from Los Angeles and Las Vegas executed a search warrant at his home, Special Agent Kevin Caudle, FBI spokesman, said.

Caudle said an investigation revealed that at least 350 people, mostly from Los Angeles, invested their money in Womack's Iris Limited Liability Corp. believing that Womack was investing it into short-term stocks.

Womack never invested the money and instead was using it for his own personal gain, Caudle said. What money the investors did receive came from other investors.

Womack was arrested and charged with one count of wire fraud after he reportedly transferred $30,000 from a Las Vegas client into his personal bank account, Caudle said.

Authorities don't believe any of the $15 million is left.

Magistrate Judge Roger L. Hunt ordered Womack detained following Monday's initial appearance.


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