Federal prosecutors in NC charge Colorado woman with running $7M Ponzi scheme, taking $200K

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Federal prosecutors say a Colorado woman is agreeing to plead guilty to wire fraud conspiracy in North Carolina after being charged with operating a $7 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 10,000 victims.

Prosecutors in Charlotte said Thursday that 60-year-old Kristine Louise Johnson of Aurora, Colorado, has agreed to pay restitution if a federal judge accepts her plea agreement. She could face 20 years in prison.

Court documents say Johnson and an uncharged co-conspirator in Wyandott, Michigan, ran the investment scheme through a sham internet company called "The Achieve Community" for about 10 months ending in February. They told victims their investments would receive a 700 percent return.

Investors got back about $2 million while the scheme was ongoing. Johnson took about $200,000 for her personal use.

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