Former Polson Man Pleads Guilty to Ponzi Scheme

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – A former Polson man accused of operating a Ponzi scheme has pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 61-year-old Keith Kovick, now of Williston, N.D., entered his pleas Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula. Sentencing is set for July 26.

The state began investigating Kovick, Robert Congdon and their business, Cornerstone Financial Inc., in late 2008 after investors complained they were no longer receiving monthly payments.

Cornerstone received a 10 percent commission for pairing investors with borrowers who had projects to finance. Prosecutors say Cornerstone raised more than $14.3 million from at least 100 investors and made about $1.3 million in commissions.

Prosecutors alleged that when the real estate market collapsed, Cornerstone began seeking investments of greater value than the property securing the investments.