GREEN BAY – They pitched longtime friends first: Investments in cryptocurrency or penny stocks or foreign currency could return 40%, 70%, 130%, even 200%, sometimes in a matter of months. 

It sounded too good to be true, but the account statements backed it up: $15,000 invested in 2014 and 2015 had grown to $56,687 in fall 2016. A married couple’s $2,000 investment turned into more than $44,000 in just a couple years. A $400 investment grew to $10,500 in one year’s time. 

Parents told their children. Children told their parents. A few told their friends. Some liquidated retirement accounts, one handed over a six-figure divorce settlement, others pulled from extra money to write out checks to a pair of Two Rivers residents who purported to run an investment firm. 

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