Archive for the ‘Scandals’ Category

Is Your Money Paying Someone Else’s Return?

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed an emergency action against Creative Capital Consortium, LLC, Creative Capital Concepts, LLC, and its principal, George L. Theodule, to halt an alleged Ponzi scheme and affinity fraud.  According to the complaint, Theodule raised at least $23.4 million from thousands of investors in the Haitian-American community through a network of purported investment clubs created for the sole purpose of directing funds to Theodule and Creative Capital.  (more…)

Former SEC Enforcement Branch Chief says Madoff Fraud Avoidable

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

MARIETTA, GEORGIA – December 16, 2008
For former SEC Enforcement Branch Chief, Pat Huddleston, the Madoff fraud came as no surprise.  “There were warning signs,” he says. “Madoff was clever, but his secretiveness and his supposed track record would have been enough for us to warn our clients away from him.”  Huddleston’s company, Investor’s Watchdog LLC, investigates brokers and unregistered investments, pre-investment, to protect its clients from reckless brokers and financial scams.

Huddleston doesn’t blame the victims, though.  “As much as we like to think of ourselves as smart and good judges of character,” he says, “no investor is immune from a financial scam.”  Huddleston says that we all have a natural optimism that tells us that things like this can’t happen to us.  “You can’t overcome that on your own,” he says.  That’s where Investor’s Watchdog comes in.  Using Huddleston’s SEC experience, the company gives investors the objective, often sobering, perspective they need before choosing to risk any part of their life savings.

Investor’s Watchdog has helped investors avoid the nightmare that Madoff’s victims are suffering through.  For proposed hedge fund investments, Investor’s Watchdog does a thorough review of all offering documents and an investigation of the people involved before issuing a Safety Rating that reflects IW’s opinion on whether the investment is legitimate.

Huddleston served in the SEC’s Enforcement Division from 1990 to 1996, and was an Enforcement Branch Chief in the Atlanta office from 1992 to 1996 before returning to private practice to represent individual investors.  He is currently serving as court-appointed Receiver in three fraud cases commenced by the SEC.

For additional information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Pat Huddleston, please contact Lauren Bowman at 866.423.WDOG X106 or email at [email protected] # # #

Brokers Gone Wild (Part 6)

Friday, December 5th, 2008

We’ve come to that time in our walk through the life of an investment scam when you, as the investor, are patting yourself on the back.  The checks are coming, and you are making financial decisions on the assumption that they’ll continue to arrive on schedule.  Maybe you bought that lake house you always dreamed of.  Maybe you retired early. (more…)

It’s Still Going On

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

You may think that the Nigerian e-mail scam is a thing of the past.  Since there’s been so much education around it, surely scamsters would have run out of easy targets.  But according to a recent article from the Associated Press, the opposite is true. (more…)

Preying On A Desire To Do Good

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Harvy Lipman, a staff writer for, wrote a fantastic article about an investment scheme that preyed on church members.  David A. Talbot is best known for being Michael Vick’s financial advisor before being removed by a Virginia bankruptcy court for misappropriating Vick’s assets.  But now, according to the state attorney general, Talbot is at it again. (more…)

Not Enough Cops on the Beat

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Eric Lichtblau, David Johnston and Ron Nixon wrote a great article for and the New York Times business feed.  It talks about the F.B.I’s struggle to investigate the current wave of fraud cases, due to a large cut in the criminal investigation work force. (more…)

A Worldwide Problem

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

South Africa’s Cape Argus is reporting on more than 30 pyramid schemes plaguing Johannesburg.  The report adds to the list of countries reporting an epidemic of financial crime.  We have blogged on scams in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan, among others.  Scams are more frequently crossing the oceans; even domestic financial scams often involve characters operating overseas.  (more…)

The Family Reunion

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

At your family reunion, if there is one person who lost money in a Ponzi scheme, there is almost certainly another.  While Ponzi schemes are as different from one another as snowflakes, many cut a swath not just through a household, but through an entire extended family. (more…)

Big Name Brokerage Firms Hurting Baby Boomers

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Mara Der Hovanesian has written a story that all baby boomers should read.  In this week’s BusinessWeek, Hovanesian covers the story that Investor’s Watchblog has been following since our launch and that too few reporters cover.  There is a tidal wave of investment fraud breaking over American baby boomers.  Their nest eggs are disappearing not only into the hands of con artists, but also into the hands of overeager and commission-hungry stockbrokers at America’s largest and best known brokerage houses.  (more…)

Searching for Israel

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

As we knew from the beginning, Samuel Israel is alive.  He tried to lead the world to believe that he had jumped off a bridge into the Hudson River - leaving his car on the bridge with the words “Suicide is Painless” written in the pollen and dirt on the hood.  Israel, who masterminded the $450 million Bayou Group hedge fund fraud, was scheduled to report to prison the day he abandoned his car.  His girlfriend has admitted to picking him up in the town of Bedford, New York, and helping him load his personal possessions into a recreational vehicle.   Stay tuned.

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