Don’t Be Trapped by the Trappings

“It was clear to me that the more you showed people that you didn’t need money, the easier it was to attract money.”

My biggest hurdle has always been the same: getting people past the powerful cognitive bias that convinces them that they are too smart, savvy, or sensible to ever be taken in by an investment fraud. Until people are equipped to turn around and examine their own thinking, they cannot shake that hardwired defense mechanism. And, until they can clear that hurdle with me, nothing I say about how to investigate a prospective investment can do them any good. In addition to teaching them about the cognitive biases, I tell my audiences about all of the very wealthy, successful, and professionally suspicious people who have fallen for well-disguised scams, in hopes that concrete examples will lead them to the thought, If those people could fall for it, maybe there is something else I need to know in order to protect myself. A recent case out of North Carolina gives me another example to share. According to the Charlotte Observer: (more…)

Make Some Noise

He took vacations to Hawaii, Cancun, and Mexico, and bought cars, clothing and jewelry.

From 2001 to 2007, people all across the southeastern U.S. believed Gary Clyde Keever when he said that he could earn them a stable return by trading mortgages.  They turned over their savings and enjoyed reading the periodic statements he’d send them, showing the impressive returns.  In fact, Keever was simply spending investor’s money as if it were his own.  He took vacations to Hawaii, Cancun, and Mexico, and bought cars, clothing and jewelry.  According to The Charlotte Observer: (more…)

$40 Million North Carolina Ponzi

And what you think of when you visualize the threat to your nest egg is a caricature, not the real thing.

Keith Franklin Simmons bought almost $5 million in real estate.  He invested in a company that promoted ultimate fighting tournaments.  He traveled by private jet, and paid for breast-augmentation surgery for several of the women who traveled with him. According to a jury in North Carolina, he paid for those things with some of the $40 million he stole from more than 400 investors. (more…)

SEC Files Emergency Action to Halt Alleged North Carolina-based Ponzi

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed an emergency enforcement action to halt an alleged Ponzi scheme operated by Sidney S. Hanson and Charlotte M. Hanson of Charlotte, North Carolina.  According to the SEC:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed an emergency enforcement action to halt an alleged Ponzi scheme operated by Sidney S. Hanson and Charlotte M. Hanson of Charlotte, North Carolina.  According to the SEC: (more…)

 

SEC Stops Another Alleged Ponzi Scheme

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) - up to its eyeballs in work - has stopped another alleged Ponzi operation in its tracks - this one in Mooresville, North Carolina.  The SEC charged Shelby Dean Martin (“Martin”) and his companies, D. Martin Enterprises, Inc. (“DM Enterprises”) and DM Ventures, LLC (“DM Ventures”), with securities fraud.  According to [...]

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) - up to its eyeballs in work - has stopped another alleged Ponzi operation in its tracks - this one in Mooresville, North Carolina.  The SEC charged Shelby Dean Martin (“Martin”) and his companies, D. Martin Enterprises, Inc. (“DM Enterprises”) and DM Ventures, LLC (“DM Ventures”), with securities fraud.  According to the Commission’s complaint: (more…)

 
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