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SEC freezes assets of Colorado-based diamond-themed ponzi scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday that it obtained an emergency court order to freeze millions of dollars in the assets of Golden, Colorado-resident Richard Dalton, who the SEC alleges has been running a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi scheme. As head of Universal Consulting Resources LLC, Dalton allegedly told investors he was using their money as leverage to secure loans to "purchase and sell bank notes" to finance a diamond trading business. It was the kind of convoluted program that only friends and family could sell and, according to the SEC, it sold well by word of mouth alone.