Four plead innocent in pyramid scheme - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Four plead innocent in pyramid scheme

Four Adair County residents accused of
encouraging other people to invest in a pyramid scheme are set to go to trial next spring.

Westville community leaders Ronald Abels, Jerry Carte, William Lewis and Barbara Rose all pleaded innocent Wednesday. Gary Fain is
to be arraigned Nov. 17.

The five waived their right to a preliminary hearing two months ago.

The five were leaders in their communities. Court records say they participated in the "Friends Helping Friends" pyramid scheme
that operated in the county in 1996 and 1997.

They are accused of encouraging people to invest $2,000 in the illegal scheme.

Donn Baker, attorney for Carte and Abels, said earlier that his clients would enter blind pleas in exchange for two-year deferred sentences.

He said Wednesday that his clients were still happy with the deal offered them, but neither wanted to enter a plea now and then be used against the other defendants.

At least two of the other three defendants were offered suspended sentences.

Carrie Griffith, who represents Rose and Lewis, said she is still seeking a deferred sentence for Lewis.

The state has offered a suspended sentence.

With a suspended sentence, a conviction remains on a person's criminal record indefinitely.

In a deferred sentence, the record would be expunged if no other violations are recorded while the sentence is being served.

Baker said none of the defendants would serve jail time under existing plea offers.

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103 is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.