Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Kenneth Wayne McLeod

All around nice guy

At the peak of his success, money manager Kenneth Wayne McLeod, 48, was living the Joe Sixpack dream. McLeod's idea of high rolling wasn't exclusive four-star restaurants in New York or high-end resorts in St. Tropez. For McLeod, living the dream meant one thing: football.

Kenneth Wayne McLeod
Kenneth Wayne McLeod

For five years, McLeod went on lavish trips to the Super Bowl, paying for box seats for 40 of his closest friends. In addition to partying at football games, at both Super Bowls and the games of his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars, he had events on his boat anchored next to his multimillion dollar, waterfront home. Though flashy, he was known for his generosity: he tipped well, and he was forever picking up tabs for his less well-off friends. He was a charismatic, sports-minded and personable. Though he had a need to be the center of attention, he was gregarious enough that people didn't mind.

Unlike some stockbrokers or money managers, he wasn't an uptight suit. He was easily distinguished by his balding head, his wide smile encircled by a bristly goatee, and his brightly-colored, patterned shirts.

He was the type of guy you could have a beer with—and he always paid for it. But as his oldest friends and his biggest clients were to discover, all those fun times were being paid for with his clients' money, money his clients thought they were smartly investing at the advice of someone who claimed to be their friend.

Little did they know that they had fallen victim to one of the most audacious Ponzi schemes in American history, audacious because it had also managed to ensnare numerous members of law enforcement and other U.S. government employees

He might not have been as rich as Bernie Madoff, but Kenneth McLeod was at least as bold.


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