It looks like the bell won’t get Screech out of this one.
Dustin Diamond, the actor best known for his role as Screech on the 1990s TV series "Saved By The Bell," appears to have gotten himself caught up in a Ponzi scheme. The receiver, who was appointed by the court to sort through the assets of convicted Ponzi schemer Robert Stinson Jr. alleges Diamond benefitted from the scam in a recent complaint. (Hat tip: Courthouse News.) The complaint also seeks to get Diamond and the other defendants to turn over the money they allegedly got from the scam.
Stinson was sentenced to 33 years in prison in April for bilking more than 250 investors out of at least $14 million in total through Life’s Good Inc., a firm he told clients made real estate loans, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Life’s Good allegedly loaned money to a business called Rogue International Talent Group, which claimed to be a talent agency. That company loaned part of the money -- more than $40,000 -- to Diamond, according to the complaint, and the actor still hasn’t paid it back.
The complaint alleges that Diamond and others “unjustly, inequitably, and/or fraudulently received cash and in-kind benefits” thanks to the Ponzi scheme.
Unfortunately for Diamond, this isn’t the first time he’s faced controversy since playing television's sometimes-lovable nerd. He appeared in a porn video that somehow found its way to the Internet, wrote a tell-all book about his time on "Saved By The Bell" and had a stint on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club.
Still, Diamond can at least take comfort in the fact that a lot of other celebrities have also been tied to Ponzi schemes. A recent lawsuit alleges that musician John Mayer, of “Your Body Is A Wonderland" fame, may be in possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars related to a $100 million Ponzi scheme.
Instead of benefitting, many celebrities often end up being scammed by Ponzi schemes. Steven Spielberg, Kevin Bacon and Larry King are among those that lost money after investing with Bernie Madoff.