Former financial adviser and radio talk show host Dawn Bennett, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison last month for defrauding 46 investors in a $20 million Ponzi scheme, is appealing her conviction and sentence.
Bennett’s attorneys filed a notice of review last Friday, asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to review her case.
Bennett was found guilty in October 2018 of all 17 charges that included securities fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy. She was accused of spending the vast proceeds of her scheme on luxury goods, cosmetic surgery, and mystics, including $800,000 to pay Hindu priests to ward off federal investigators.
Bennet, a former Barron’s top ranked financial advisor, fraudulently raised more than $20 million from elderly and financially unsophisticated investors by selling notes issued by her luxury sports apparel firm, DJB Holdings LLC.
She was accused of misrepresenting DJB Holdings’ profitability and exaggerating the safety of the notes and success of her firm, touting it as a profitable business able to pay annual returns as high as 15 percent.
The FBI began investigating Bennett in December 2015 after the SEC accused her of inflating the amount of assets she managed and exaggerating the returns on her customers’ investments. She was barred by the SEC in 2016 and ordered to pay more than $4 million in fines.
Bennett’s hoodoo practices were widely reported prior to the trial, when FBI agents found evidence at her primary residence that she was attempting to silence SEC attorneys by conducting a hoodoo spell called, “Beef Tongue Shut Up Hoodoo Spell.”
They uncovered biographical information for three SEC attorneys, as well as two freezers containing dozens of sealed Mason jars with beef tongues and identifying information for the same SEC attorneys.