A federal grand jury has indicted a former Lincoln man after he collected money from investors as part of a $76 million pyramid scheme, authorities said.

Frederick Alan Voight, who had lived in Lincoln before moving to Texas, is charged with 20 counts of fraud in the U.S. District Court District of Nebraska.

He couldn’t be reached Thursday.

Authorities said Voight made false promises to investors to collect their money and invest it in Voight’s businesses.

He told investors that the companies had a “social aspect,” meaning the company was “helping to change people’s lives for the good,” according to the indictment.

Voight received $76 million from 608 investors from September 2009 to July 2015, according to the federal indictment, and promised to loan money to certain companies. Voight loaned only $22 million to the companies, the indictment said.

Voight paid victim investors monthly interest payments of between 12 percent and 42 percent, “lulling them with a false sense of confidence in the loans they thought they were making,” the indictment said.

Some investors chose not to receive their interest payments, but instead to have them rolled into the principal. Some investors, believing their initial loans were performing as promised, and that Voight was trustworthy, agreed to loan additional money to Voight.

The people who invested their money with Voight and his businesses lost about $40 million, according to authorities.

Officials said Voight sent 21 checks for various investment programs from Nebraska cities including Omaha, Holdrege, Hampton, Waterloo, Plattsmouth and Sutton, the indictment says.

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Alia Conley covers breaking news, crime, crime trends, the Omaha Police Department and initial court hearings. Follow her on Twitter @aliavalentine. Phone: 402-444-1068.

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