- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

COLUMBIA FALLS, Mont. (AP) - The Montana State Auditor’s Office has frozen the accounts of a woman being investigated in an investment case.

Authorities are looking into whether the Columbia Falls woman may have invested money without proper registration and mishandled more than $1 million in a Ponzi scheme, The Daily Inter Lake (https://bit.ly/20rruvO ) reported.

Court documents say the accounts of Catherine Ann “Cathy” Finberg were flagged in February by Glacier Bank employees who alerted the FBI about suspicious transactions.

“We are cooperating with the state Auditor’s Office at this time and continuing to work through their investigation,” said her lawyer Dave Cotner. He said he has been working with state officials to notify people who gave the woman money about the investigation and asset freeze.

Auditor’s Office chief legal counsel Jesse Laslovich said no charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing.

According to court documents, the woman obtained nearly $1.3 million in investments from more than 18 people between 2008 and 2016. She put the money into an investment account she used for day trading and lost $275,000, according to the documents, and withdrew $741,000 from the account.

Cotner said there was some question about whether the funds involved were loans or investments.

“We are working with (state officials) in an effort to get ahold of various individuals that loaned or invested money,” he said.

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Information from: Daily Inter Lake, https://www.dailyinterlake.com

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