Oregon brothers sentenced to prison for Ponzi scheme

UGENE, Ore. (AP) — Two brothers who ran an Oregon investment firm were each sentenced to six years in prison from charges stemming from a $40 million Ponzi scheme that hurt about 400 investors.

The Register-Guard reports 74-year-old Michael Holcomb and 72-year-old Gary Holcomb were sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Eugene after they pleaded guilty in September to felony conspiracy and money laundering.

Authorities say the brothers’ company Berjac used investors’ money for speculative real estate projects and personal purchases. The scam lasted from 2008 to 2012.

The brothers will have three years of supervised release following their prison sentences.

Michael Holcomb’s two daughters also pleaded guilty to felony money laundering. Jennifer Chalmers and Kristen Van Breemen were each sentenced to five years of probation and 250 hours of community service.