Couple in Illinois Ponzi scheme caught in Arizona

May 7, 2012

Associated Press

The U.S. Marshals Service says an Illinois couple who fled a conviction for running a Ponzi scheme has been captured in a small town west of Phoenix after a dozen years on the run.

The arrests of 65-year-old Nelson Grant Hallahan and his 54-year-old wife, Janet, came Saturday after they were featured on "America's Most Wanted" the previous night. A tip led deputy marshals to the couple in the community of Tonopah (TOHN'-uh-paw).

They pleaded guilty in Illinois federal court to bank and mail fraud conspiracy charges and money laundering but didn't show up for sentencing in early 2000.

The Hallahans lived in Peoria, Ill., and targeted family, friends, and elderly victims by promising significant returns on investments.

They used the millions they netted to live a lavish lifestyle.