Three Charged As Fake Guggenheim Schemers

Monday, Jan 31, 2011  |  Updated 7:00 PM EDT
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Three Charged As Fake Guggenheim Schemers

A Hartford police officer under investigation for the beating of a suspect took his first steps toward retiring.

New York City prosecutors have charged three people in a failed scheme to cheat investors by pretending to be members and representatives of the Guggenheim family.

   
A federal complaint alleges the defendants used the prominent name to promote phony investment opportunities including the sale of $1 billion in diamonds and a vodka distribution venture.
   
Prosecutors say a Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., woman tried to pass herself off as a countess. She remains at large.
   
Two men were to appear in court later Monday. All face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy charges.
   
The real Guggenheims made their money in mining and smelting.  They are noted for their philanthropy and contributions to aviation and art, including several museums.
 

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