Twelve years after defrauding their friends, family members and acquaintances out of millions, the mini-Madoffs have finally been dragged to jail. During the 1990s Nelson Grant Hallahan and his wife Janet convinced nearly everyone they knew to invest in a tanning salon they owned in Illinois, promising ten percent returns on investments. Unbeknownst to the investors, they’d long sold the salon and were using newly collected money to occasionally pay out returns to the early investors. The rest of the money was used to bankroll a lavish lifestyle featuring boats, vacations and apparently, few second thoughts. Like the overwhelming majority who run Ponzi schemes, the soulless couple was eventually caught, but unlike the majority who run Ponzi schemes, they managed to escape between their conviction and sentencing.

The manhunt lasted for more than a decade, but after the Hallahans appeared on America’s Most Wanted on Sunday, a tipster called in and let authorities know the couple’s whereabouts. According to Fox News, the two scoundrels were found about fifty miles outside Phoenix. Bizarrely, they’d apparently separated at some point because each was occupying a different residence, assumedly paying both rents with money other people earned.

If history is any indication, most of the victims will not get all of their investments back. They’ll likely each receive a fraction, but after twelve years after wondering where the hell the Hallahans were, something tells me this will offer some kind of satisfaction. As for the rest of the public, it should serve as a warning. Manhunts aren’t always limited to offenders who commit bodily harm.

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