Former Raymond James Broker Indicted

The reality of the securities industry is nothing like the portrait firms paint in commercials that air during golf tournaments.

You can slice and dice the characters who commit investment crimes any number of ways; by modus operandi, by personality traits, by size of their cons. In The Vigilant Investor we divided them into five categories: the Professional Criminal, the  Golden Boy, the Fibber, the Bungler, and the Thief. Prosecutors in Indiana have indicted a man who, if the allegations against him are true (he is presumed innocent), would fit solidly into the Thief category. According to journalgazette.net: (more…)

Feds Charge Indiana Hedge Fund Manager

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In what is likely to be one of the last cases involving a scam that started before the Great Recession, prosecutors in Indiana have charged Keenan Hauke, manager of the Samex Capital Partners hedge fund, with running a Ponzi scheme. Hauke has agreed to plead guilty to swindling more than $7 million from 67 investors, some of them retired.  Hauke’s scam will sound familiar to readers of this blog. Hundreds of the more than 1,100 scams that we’ve written about over the past three years are almost identical to it. According to Indystar.com: (more…)

Indiana Charges Two with Funding Lifestyle with Investor Money

While proper licensing is no guarantee that an investment salesperson is legitimate, failure to be properly licensed is a sure fire indicator of fraud.

Prosecutors in Indiana have charged two men with a no-frills investment scam. According to investigators at the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office, Jerry A. Smith of Brookville, Indiana, and Jasen M. Snelling of Cincinatti, sold unregistered securities and simply spent the money on themselves.  According to a story on eaglecountryonline.com: (more…)

SEC Charges Fraud Involving “Interest Bearing Certificates”

Never let the title of a supposed investment play any role in your decision to invest.

The “investment” at the center of any financial scam can take any shape.  Sometimes its a stock, sometimes a bond, other times a certificate of deposit.  There a promissory note scams, life insurance policy scams, and mortgage scams.  This week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an enforcement case involving supposed investments in “interest-bearing certificates.”  Specifically, the SEC ”charg[ed] three senior executives at Akron, Ohio-based Fair Finance Company (“Fair Finance”) with orchestrating a $230 million fraudulent scheme involving at least 5,200 investors – many of them elderly.”  According to the SEC’s press release: (more…)

Michigan Regulators Accuse Two of Operating a Ponzi Scheme Involving Timeshare Leases

A few days before Christmas, police in Michigan arrested Robert Valeri, Sr. and Robert Valeri, Jr.  and charged them with operating a $350 million Ponzi scheme that targeted senior citizens through a company called Resort Holdings International.  According to prosecutors, the pair sold the seniors time shares interests in time shares, telling them that they could offer the units [...]

A few days before Christmas, police in Michigan arrested Robert Valeri, Sr. and Robert Valeri, Jr.  and charged them with operating a $350 million Ponzi scheme that targeted senior citizens through a company called Resort Holdings International.  According to prosecutors, the pair sold the seniors time shares interests in time shares, telling them that they could offer the units for rent and receive a guaranteed return of 9 percent per year, regardless of whether anyone rented the investor’s unit.  Prosecutors claim that the two were working with Michael Kelly, an Indiana resident who was the alleged mastermind of the scheme. (more…)

 

Churches Continue to be a Primary Target for Ponzi Operators

Aaron Foley of MLive.com in Detroit writes that 300 churches nationwide have fallen victim to a single Ponzi scheme.  Foley reports that one church, First Baptist International Church in Detroit, may have to close if an emergency fundraising effort falls short.

Aaron Foley of MLive.com in Detroit writes that 300 churches nationwide have fallen victim to a single Ponzi scheme.  Foley reports that one church, First Baptist International Church in Detroit, may have to close if an emergency fundraising effort falls short. (more…)

 

Marcus Schrenker Sentenced to 51 Months in Federal Prison

CNN is reporting that Marcus Schrenker, who tried to fake his own death by baling out of his airplane and leaving it to crash just short of the Gulf of Mexico, has been sentenced to 51 months in prison on charges related to that ruse.  Investor’s Watchblog readers will remember reading our original post about Schrenker, who, at the [...]

CNN is reporting that Marcus Schrenker, who tried to fake his own death by baling out of his airplane and leaving it to crash just short of the Gulf of Mexico, has been sentenced to 51 months in prison on charges related to that ruse.  Investor’s Watchblog readers will remember reading our original post about Schrenker, who, at the time of his disappearance, was under investigation by the Indiana Secretary of State in connection with his management of client funds.  According to CNN:  (more…)

 

Indiana Charges Four With Criminal Affinity Fraud

The State of Indiana has charged four men engaged in selling church bonds with criminal securities law violations.  The men are Vaughn A. Reeves, Sr.; Vaughn A. Reeves, Jr.; Jonathan Christopher Reeves; and Joshua Craig Reeves (collectively, the Reeves).  Specifically, the Indiana alleges that:

The State of Indiana has charged four men engaged in selling church bonds with criminal securities law violations.  The men are Vaughn A. Reeves, Sr.; Vaughn A. Reeves, Jr.; Jonathan Christopher Reeves; and Joshua Craig Reeves (collectively, the Reeves).  Specifically, the Indiana alleges that:

(more…)

 
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