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Clearwater man accused of Ponzi scheme commits suicide

CLEARWATER — A man arrested in connection with a $53 million Ponzi scheme last week killed himself Wednesday, police said.

Michael Greenberg, 50, was accused of defrauding his family, friends and investors in a scheme that began in 1998, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He began the scheme just two years after he was released from prison for fraud and was still on probation.

Greenberg's son found him at his home on Oakmont Drive about 11 p.m. Wednesday, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said.

Greenberg had hanged himself and left a note that mentioned the case against him, Watts said.

Authorities said Greenberg stole his parents' identities and persuaded more than 30 banks, investors, family members and the Small Business Administration to give him money to fuel the fraud, according to a complaint filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

He made some payments but ended up stealing more than $15.5 million, authorities said.

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Clearwater man accused of Ponzi scheme commits suicide 04/01/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 1, 2010 3:32pm]
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