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Bay Area man charged with nationwide ATM scam

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A San Francisco Bay Area man has pleaded not guilty to charges he fleeced more than a hundred investors by promising them a percentage of user fees from ATMs across the country.

The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/1fUmyfQ) 44-year-old Michael Brendan Ferguson is charged with nine felonies, including securities fraud and grand theft.

Prosecutors say the Foster City resident sold investors the rights to a percentage of fees from a portfolio of ATMs located in shopping centers throughout the nation _ or sold them ATMs plus a percentage of those fees. However, prosecutors allege, Ferguson did not own most of the machines and paid his clients with money from new investors.

San Jose resident Cheryl Palos says she lost nearly $770 thousand, her entire life savings.

Ferguson's lawyer did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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