Businessman pleads not guilty to Ponzi scheme
A businessman from Tangipahoa Parish pleaded not guilty to defrauding investors out of nearly $20 million in an alleged Ponzi scheme.
Matthew Pizzolato, of Tickfaw, was arraigned Monday. He's being held without bond.
Pizzolato was arrested last month on charges that include securities fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors said he defrauded about 160 investors out of roughly $19.5 million and used some of the money to pay for cars, cruises, sports tickets and a house.
The indictment said Pizzolato was the head of more than 15 different companies in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond and Lake Charles.