Bentley CD Case Appeals Finally Moves Forward
PHILADELPHIA -- The court-appointed receiver involved in the distribution of more than $339 million to those who were impacted in the Bentley Financial Services certificate of deposit Ponzi scheme provided an update yesterday on the case.
Bentley was charged with selling supposed bank-issued, federally insured CDs that were actually uninsured securities. Hundreds of credit unions, banks and individuals invested more than $370 million. Since then, Peninsula Bank, Joseph Marzouca and Ted Benghiat, Southeastern Securities, Inc. and SFG Financial Services, Inc. have been named as defendants. Robert Bentley, who ran Bentley Financial, pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of bank bribery, is currently serving five years in prison.
David Marion, the court-appointed receiver, said appeals, cross appeals, and the first round of briefs have been filed in the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Barring any further delays, the briefing will be completed in the coming months, followed by oral argument and finally, a decision from the Court of Appeals.
The receiver said it can still go after Peninsula Bank, which had more than $683 million in assets as of July 30, 2007. The receiver is also pursuing an insurance company and another bank with ties to Bentley.
As of Dec. 31, nearly $340 million has been returned to claimants.