Posted: Aug 22, 2012 3:56 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Aug 23, 2012 7:16 AM
HAMILTON- A man headed to prison for fraud warns others to seek absolute proof to keep from becoming victims, or inmates, themselves.
Dan Two Feathers, who pleaded guilty in one of the largest fraud cases in Montana, says that's advice he didn't take, and now he'll spend at least five years behind bars.
Two Feathers is one of three men implicated in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of millions and used bank accounts in Switzerland and Bermuda.
Two Feathers believes that in his own way, he's also a fraud victim.
He said he initially got involved trying to keep a friend from getting in trouble using investments to recover money. But he says one of his co-conspirators
also enticed him by tapping into his dreams of opening a New Age "healing center" in the Bitterroot, appealing to his philosophical viewpoints.
"The guy out of South Carolina says, oh I had a dream and this is what you want to do this for. I went, oh wow, how did you know, because it's not published. Okay, you must be straight up," he said.
Once he was involved, the claims escalated from there.
"Oh, I can take a hundred bucks and make $400 on it in a short time. And like the old adage says, if it's too good to be true it is."
Now, Two Feathers is packing to leave his Montana friends and family behind, with fears of being homeless when released because he'll also lose his veteran's pension.
When asked what he would tell other people to avoid getting into trouble or losing money, he said to "Check it totally out."
"Check it totally out. Ask to see the contracts. Ask to be able to verify what they're doing, what's happening," he said. "One of the partners had claimed that they had made millions with me. And I'm going, they did? On that scheme that we were doing."
With tools from desktop computers to overseas connections on the Internet, he says proof is more important than ever.
"Okay, then show me. People have got to take the Missouri attitude, you know. Show me."
This will be the second time Two Feathers has served time for fraud. He says it's the last.
"Basically one of things I've learned is, I don't care who you are, friend or not, I have to let you learn your own lessons. There's no way I'm going to get involved in any of this anymore," he said.