A former Durango man charged in connection with a Ponzi scheme was arrested Thursday in Chicago.
Mark Akins is scheduled to make an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in Chicago, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorneys Office.
A federal grand jury indicted Akins last month on suspicion of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and making false statements in connection with a $1 million-plus Ponzi scheme based in Durango that ran from June 2006 to June 2008.
The 80-count indictment also names Frederick H.K. Baker, another former Durango resident. Baker was arrested in Utah and made an initial court appearance Thursday in Denver.
The two are suspected of organizing a Ponzi scheme, in which they promised investors a high return on their investments and paid the early investors with subsequent investors money.
The Durango Herald published a story March 4 about the Ponzi scheme and the indictment against Akins and Baker. Akins was considered a fugitive at the time.
Dorschner said the FBI received several leads from the media report.
Media attention absolutely did help the FBI in apprehending Akins, he said.
A woman who asked not to be identified called the Herald offices Thursday asking for more information about Akins because she believed he was living in Chicago. She was referred to law enforcement.
The woman declined to comment when contacted Friday.
Vince Doran, a Chicago resident, e-mailed the Herald on Friday to report Akins had been arrested.
We saw your article and notified the FBI and he was arrested on Thursday night, Doran wrote.
Akins was apparently dating a woman who knew nothing about the federal charges, Doran wrote.
Something didnt seem right about Mark, and our intuitions were correct, he wrote.
Efforts to reach Doran for further comment were unsuccessful Friday.