Nearly five years after federal authorities unraveled a $1 billion Ponzi scheme operated by Chester County, Pa., businessman Robert L. Bentley, his 200-plus victims won a major victory in federal court that promises to get back nearly all of their money.

After an 11-day civil trial, a federal jury handed up a verdict of nearly $33 million after finding that Bentley was aided in his schemes by a bank and a broker who helped him secure a series of loans that kept the Ponzi scheme alive.

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