Archive for the ‘SEC’ Category

Scam on the Run

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Every day that passes without authorities finding Arthur Nadel makes me think of Homer Forster, a fraudster we pursued in my days at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Forster redeemed customers’ variable annuity contracts without their knowledge or consent and took the money (just over $1.6 million) for himself.  He had been planning his escape for quite sometime, and managed to leave the country before the criminal authorities could track him down.  He and his girlfriend had applied for and received U.S. Passports under assumed names, and used them to flee the States. (more…)

Is Your Money Safe With Anyone?

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

So far we’ve seen only the beginning of the turmoil to come from Bernie Madoff’s scam, and the thousands of similar scams currently operating in the United States.  You can’t blame people for begging the question: Is your money safe with anyone?  MSN Money published an article on this topic recently, and the comments from their message boards wondered this very thing. (more…)

They’ll Likely Find Him Alive

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Like conspicuous consumption, the financial criminal who attempts to fake his own death and takes it on the lam has become trite.  We have seen it three times in the past year. 

First, Samuel Israel, the architect of the fraudulent Bayou hedge fund, left his car on a bridge over the Hudson River with the phrase “Suicide is Painless” drawn in the dust and pollen on the hood, leaving authorities - who were expecting him to report to prison that day - wondering whether he had jumped to his death.  (more…)

The Forecast Calls for a 100% Chance of Financial Scams

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

The skies are threatening as the New York Times reports on yet another financial manager gone missing under circumstances that lead investigators to believe that he has committed suicide. 

The police are searching for Arthur Nadel, 75, a prominent Sarasota philanthropist and fund manager who was reported missing by his family Wednesday. He left a note, described as a suicide note by The Sarasota Herald- Tribune, that reported that investors could be out as much as $350 million. (more…)

A New Administration, A New Focus On Investor Protection?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

We approach today with new hope.  New hope that a new President can lead us out of the once-in-a-century economic crisis that faces us.  New Hope that we can become a force for good throughout the world and that we will make smart choices about committing our troops overseas.  President Obama will find more urgent matters awaiting him when he first sits down in the Oval Office than any President in recent memory.  No doubt, he will have to prioritize.  Let’s pray that protecting American investors does not fall too far down that list.  (more…)

Investment Fraud Everywhere

Monday, January 19th, 2009

More than one year ago, we began  blogging on the scams and reckless brokers that cost American baby boomers and senior citizens their life savings, turning golden years into years of want, anxiety, and desperation.  Early on we told you that there was a tidal wave of investment fraud breaking over America.  We wish now that we could tell you that Bernie Madoff’s record-setting Ponzi scheme was the peak of the storm.  When we look back on this time ten years from now, though, Madoff’s particular scheme may not stand out the way it does now. (more…)

And Another One

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed an emergency action to halt an alleged $50 million Ponzi scheme.  The scheme was allegedly conducted by Joseph S. Forte of Broomall, Pennsylvania, and his company, Joseph Forte, LP.  According to the complaint, from at least February 1995 to the present, Forte has raised approximately $50 million from about 80 investors through the sale of securities and limited partnerships in Forte LP.  (more…)

Celebrities and Athletes at Risk

Monday, January 12th, 2009

It seems as if each week brings news of celebrities who fell victim to Bernard Madoff’s scam.  Kevin Bacon, writer Alexandra Penney.  It will be someone else next week.  When I worked in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission, I worked on cases in which A-list actors, Pro Bowl football players, and even astronauts were victims.  (more…)

Brokers Gone Wild (Part 10)

Friday, January 9th, 2009

In the last post in our Brokers Gone Wild series, the SEC or state regulators had shut down the investment that we had been so pleased with - the one that had been regularly sending us a monthly check; a check we need to pay the mortgage.  One day everything was as good as breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and the next we learn that the government has declared the investment a scam and a federal judge has appointed someone we’ve never heard of to be a “Receiver.” (more…)

A Culture of Corruption

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a civil action against UnitedHealth Group Inc., and former United Health General Counsel David J. Lubben for allegedly engaging in a scheme to backdate stock options.  According to the SEC, between 1994 and 2005 United Health concealed more than $1 billion in stock option compensation by providing senior executives and other employees with secretly backdated grants and avoided reporting the expenses.  According to the Commission’s complaint, certain UnitedHealth officers used hindsight to pick advantageous grant dates for the company’s nonqualified stock options that on many occasions coincided with, or were close to, dates of historically low annual and quarterly closing prices for UnitedHealth’s common stock. (more…)

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