Fla. man charged in Ponzi scheme pleads not guilty

HONOLULU – A Florida man pleaded not guilty in Hawaii to federal charges that he bilked 64 Hawaii investors and dozens of others in what officials allege was a classic Ponzi scheme.

Patrick Rakotonanahary of Punta Gorda appeared before federal Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi on Monday. Rakotonanahary is accused of 21 counts of wire fraud. The federal Commodities Futures Trading Commission also filed a civil complaint against the 34-year-old man.

Authorities allege his foreign currency trading scheme collected about $10.3 million from more than 100 people, including nearly $8 million from Hawaii residents.