Los Angeles Business Journal, Jun 11: Earthlink / Slatkin Weighs Plea

10 Jun 2001

EarthLink Founder Weighs Plea

EarthLink, Inc. co-founder Reed E. Slatkin signed a consent decree with securities regulators and is discussing a plea bargain with the U.S. Attorneys Office over what authorities called one of the largest alleged Ponzi schemes ever investigated.

Slatkin remains under criminal investigation by the FBI for investment fraud. The agency raided his Santa Barbara home and his offices in Goleta, Calif., and Santa Fe, N.M. last month.

Slatkin's cooperation signals that he is trying to avoid a court showdown over an investment management business that took in hundreds of millions of dollars from wealthy investors. Some investors questioned the move, however, saying the plea negotiations could disrupt investigations and make it harder for them to find out what happened to their money.

Documents seized from Slatkin's home and turned over to authorities by his attorneys last month list more than 750 investors in the alleged scheme, including Hollywood actors and producers, fellow EarthLink co-founder Sky Dayton, and members of the Church of Scientology, where Slatkin is an ordained minister.


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