A Minneapolis salesman who peddled investments in foreign currencies on the radio failed to convince a federal judge that his conviction in a $194 million Ponzi scheme should be overturned because his attorney had conflicts of interest.
Patrick Kiley, 79, is serving 20 years in prison for his role in the scheme, which bilked more than 700 investors nationwide from its office in Minneapolis. Kiley said that his attorney, Henry Nasif Mahmoud, had a conflict of interest because he was paid with investor funds by the scheme’s mastermind, Trevor Cook.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis issued a 40-page order Thursday upholding Kiley’s conviction, saying that while Mahmoud made mistakes, the errors were not serious enough to warrant relief. Davis noted that he oversaw the trial and was familiar with the evidence.
Kiley’s former radio program, “Follow the Money,” was broadcast on a Christian shortwave network and bought time on about 200 stations at its peak. But the investment was a sham created by his sidekick Cook, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2010. Other participants were sentenced to terms ranging from 7½ years to 30 years in prison.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Kiley’s sentence in 2015, but it did not address his ineffective assistance claim because it had not been presented to the lower court. Davis’ ruling resolves that.