COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A former El Paso County, Colo., sheriff's deputy with ties to Danville was charged Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver with operating an alleged Ponzi scheme that took in $1.2 million from coworkers and other law enforcement officials.
David N. Hawkins, 45, of Colorado Springs, was charged with wire fraud and spending more than $18,000 at an Oregon automobile dealer that was not identified in the documents filed in Denver federal court. He appeared before a federal magistrate in Denver, pleaded not guilty and was released on a promise to make his next court appearance. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on the wire fraud charge, and up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine on the charge of spending money obtained illegally.
The FBI and IRS began investigating Hawkins in December 2011, just a month before he abruptly canceled plans for an indoor football team he owned to play its first season in Danville, and a franchise for a second team he owned in Mesquite, Texas, was revoked. He had announced plans at a news conference in Danville in July 2011 for his Danville Dragons to play a 14-game schedule beginning in March 2012 in the David S. Palmer Arena.
A source who asked not to be identified said Hawkins is negotiating a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office. Richard Tegtmeier, a high-profile Colorado Springs defense attorney who is representing Hawkins, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
Hawkins allegedly attracted the $1.2 million between December 2009 and December 2011 through his PD Hawk Investments fund, which allegedly guaranteed investors returns of 10 percent a month through trading and exchanging foreign currencies, according to the charges. He allegedly told investors he had spent three years "realizing sustained and consistent profits" up to 62 percent in one day from trading in foreign currencies, the charges said.
Hawkins also allegedly told investors he would keep any amounts over the 10 percent a month in returns he guaranteed and would pay any tax liabilities those profits would have generated, according to the charges. He never earned any profits and instead either lost money from investors or used it for his own personal expenses, investments or to repay investors who demanded their money back, the charges said.
The U.S. Attorney's office is seeking forfeiture of any funds he received illegally from investors and any funds "transferred, sold to or deposited with a third party" or that have been placed beyond the court's jurisdiction.
Hawkins told The News-Gazette in 2011 that he was originally from New York and planned to retire in 2012 from the sheriff's office.
He had named his son, Michael Hawkins, as general manager of the Danville Dragons. He also owned the Mesquite Bandits, but the Lone Stone Football League revoked the team's franchise in January 2012 for not establishing "infrastructure to support the team for the entire 2012 season," according to a statement from the league.
Documents filed with the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office show Hawkins was sworn in as a deputy in 2002. The sheriff's office has not supplied his service record.