Former El Paso County sheriff's deputy gets 30 months in prison for Ponzi scheme

By Matt Steiner Updated: February 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm • Published: February 6, 2014 | 7:25 am

A former El Paso County sheriff's deputy was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver said David N. Hawkins, 46, will also spend three years on supervised release after serving prison time and pay more than $204,000 in restitution.

Hawkins pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and one count of money laundering in March.

According to facts outlined in Hawkins' plea deal, he used $1.2 million in cash from 73 investors, including fellow El Paso County Sheriff's Office employees, beginning in 2009. Among several false promises made by Hawkins was a guarantee that his clients would earn a 10 percent monthly return. The investments did not garner profit over time, and estimated losses were $204,349.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Hawkins moved the investors' money from trading accounts into bank accounts he controlled, using the money for personal expenses and investments.

He diverted more than $175,000 for his own use, buying two vehicles in 2011 and using more than $70,000 to purchase two professional indoor football franchises, one in Danville, Ill., and the other in Mesquite, Texas.

Hawkins was hired by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in 2001.

He began with the detention bureau and moved to the patrol division in 2003, where he was eventually promoted to senior deputy. Hawkins resigned in December 2011, shortly before the Sheriff's Office learned the FBI was investigating Hawkins.

Editor's note: This story initially had the wrong day for the sentencing.

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