Archive for the ‘Securities Industry (general)’ 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…)

Mini-Madoff Costs Floridians $350 Million

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Down in southwest Florida, they are calling Arthur Nadel the mini-Madoff.  It’s a lesson in proportion, I guess.  Sixty days ago, we’d have considered a $350 million financial scam to be huge.  Next to Madoff’s $50 million effort, though, it looks rather puny.

John Hielscher & Michael Pollick of the Herald Tribune are covering the Nadel case closely, and their coverage is well worth a read.  (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…)


Friday, January 16th, 2009

We’ve posted before about the scientific studies proving that healthy adults have a hardwired optimism that helps them navigate the world, and how that optimism works against them when they come face-to-face with a well-disguised scam.  That optimism tells them that “bad things happen to other people, not me” and lowers their resistance to the masterful manipulations of financial criminals.  Today, CNN reported on another scientific study confirming that we are ill-equipped to avoid scams without professional help. (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…)

Small World

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Over the past several months, I’ve been warning that financial scams will be falling from the sky.  Little did I know that it might be, literally, true. 

When I heard the story about the pilot who parachuted out of his plane, leaving it on auto-pilot to crash mere yards from waterfront homes in the Florida panhandle, it reminded me of Sam Israel, the hedge fund scam artist who tried to fake his own death this past summer.  When I read that the pilot was a registered investment advisor, I knew that the stunt was triggered by misconduct at this business.  When I read the name of the pilot - Marcus Schrenker - I knew I had heard it before.  I searched past blog posts to see if we had written about him before; nothing.   (more…)

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