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Mar 11, 2009

Motorcycle Road Racing's Own Version Of Bernard Madoff: Former WERA Racer John Donnelly Arrested In Investment Ponzi Scheme

Former WERA racer John Donnelly has been arrested and charged with operating an elaborate Ponzi scheme involving more than $11 million entrusted to his three financial firms by about 30 investors, many of whom had ties to motorcycle road racing.

During the 1994 and the 1997-1999 seasons, Donnelly rode as a member of the Army of Darkness, which competed in the WERA National Endurance Series; some of the investors hit hardest by the scheme may be team members as well as other WERA racers and team owners, who entrusted retirement funds and savings to Donnelly.

For more than a decade, his firms routinely reported annual returns exceeding 12%.

Donnelly's assets include a house and 65 acres of property in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The FBI is currently investigating the case.

Read a local news report here:

Read an SEC filing here:

Read the formal filings here: