Three business partners in a Scotts Valley investment firm pleaded not guilty last week to charges stemming from an investigation into a $60 million Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded as many as 90 investors.
John Geringer and Chris Luck, both of Scotts Valley, and Keith Rode, of Franklin, Wisc., were arraigned Jan. 17 in federal court in San Jose.
According to court records, Geringer is represented by Michael Whalen, Luck by Jeane DeKelver and Rode by Mark Arnold. U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk is the prosecutor.
The men are due in court for a bail bond hearing Feb. 7.
According to court records, Geringer and Luck surrendered their passports during the hearing, and Rode did not have one.
The FBI has charged the men with 38 criminal charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud through their investment firm Geringer, Luck and Rode.
Geringer’s alleged crimes took place from 2006 to 2012. Luck and Rode are accused of crimes between 2009 and 2012, after Geringer allegedly told them about the scheme.
Geringer faces a separate complaint from the Securities Exchange Commission that alleges he raised $60 million for the investment fund he ran by claiming 17 to 25 percent gains each year beginning in 2005, despite actual losses.
According to court records, a motion is pending to include Luck and Rode as defendants in the SEC case.
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