Promissory Note Scam in Oregon

Promissory notes are the favorite vehicle for scam artists because they bear a couple indicia of reliability.

From Oregon comes another case involving the investment most likely to be involved in a Ponzi scheme — promissory notes.  According to the SEC release: (more…)

Oregon Art Gallery Features a Ponzi Scheme

Protecting yourself from an investment fraud, a reckless stockbroker, or an inept, but charismatic, adviser is a learned behavior.

Cannon Beach, Oregon is a beautiful little town on the Pacific Coast. There are enormous rocks just off the coast. The magnificent beauty draws artists; painters, sculptors, and woodworkers who capture and interpret the landscape and the animals that live along and off the coast. Walking around town, it’s easier to find an art gallery than any other kind of business. There aren’t many banks or brokerage firms in Cannon Beach and seems like a very unlikely place for a Ponzi scheme. But among the art galleries in town was the Ernst and Ernst Collectors Gallery, owned by Donald Seybold, who has proven that a Ponzi scheme can spring from any place and any kind of business. According to an article in the Seaside Signal: (more…)

From Vacuum Cleaner Salesman to Ponzi Scamster

By believing that investment fraud happens because of some deficiency in the victims — a deficiency we never attribute to ourselves — we remain willfully blind to the ever-present danger of investment fraud.

From Oregon comes a case that reminds us that an investment fraud can take any shape.  According to prosecutors in Tigard, Oregon, Johnny “Mickey” Brown, who made his living selling Kirby vacuum cleaners, hatched a plan that cost 114 investors a total of $5 million.  He told his customers that he could earn them an attractive return if they allowed him to charge their credit cards to the limit and use the proceeds to expand the vacuum cleaner business.  He promised them that he’d make the minimum payments on the cards, and pay them interest on the loan.  According to a story in The Times of Tigard, Oregon: (more…)

Alleged Brother/Sister Scam Duo Arraigned

At Investor’s Watchdog, we love credentials. They present a terrific opportunity to uncover misrepresentations.

From the investors’ standpoint, it looked like a profitable deal. Investment in a company that was developing 10 profitable real estate projects. According to federal prosecutors, it was a $5.3 million Ponzi scheme, run by a brother and sister duo. According (more…)

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