- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A married couple from New Jersey has been charged after investigators say they ran a Ponzi scheme and used the money to buy luxury cars and jewelry.

Federal prosecutors announced the charges Friday against Alcibiades and Jennifer Wee Cifuentes, of West New York.

Authorities say they defrauded about 25 victims of nearly $600,000 from early 2012 until March 2015 with guarantees of extraordinary returns if they invested in foreign currency and commodity markets through the couple’s hedge fund.

Instead, prosecutors say they used the money to pay back earlier investors and to make purchases including a new Audi R8.

They are charged with mail fraud and the state also fined them $2 million.

Messages left with their attorneys weren’t immediately returned. The couple was detained without bail after an initial court appearance Friday.

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