Archive for the ‘Ponzi schemes’ Category

Ponzi Schemes Make the Big TIME

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

TIME magazine is running a story about the flood of Ponzi schemes in the news these days.  It is well worth a read.  But, I believe, Katherine Addelman, Regional Administrator of the SEC’s Atlanta Office got it right when she said:

I’m not sure this is an unusual flow of Ponzis.   But since Madoff, there’s a lot more coverage. These cases are moving to the front page, and because of it more people are getting skeptical of these investments . . . .  They’re more willing now to give information to us. (more…)

Is There A Safer Bet Than Assuming?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

It’s hard to know if your money is where your broker tells you it is.  And after all the scams hitting the news in the past few months, the thought is more frightening than ever.  But to the un-trained eye, how would you know what to look for on your statements? And if you’re receiving interest payments, then it’s safe to assume that everything is ok, right? 

Investors in Gen-See Capital Corp probably assumed so.  They believed that President and Owner, Richard S. Piccoli, had invested their money in “high quality” mortgages, as he said.  They also had no idea that the “return” they were receiving was actually being paid by new investor money.          (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…)

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…)

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…)

Celebrities and Athletes at Risk

Monday, January 12th, 2009

It seems as if each week brings news of celebrities who fell victim to Bernard Madoff’s scam.  Kevin Bacon, writer Alexandra Penney.  It will be someone else next week.  When I worked in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission, I worked on cases in which A-list actors, Pro Bowl football players, and even astronauts were victims.  (more…)

Brokers Gone Wild (Part 10)

Friday, January 9th, 2009

In the last post in our Brokers Gone Wild series, the SEC or state regulators had shut down the investment that we had been so pleased with - the one that had been regularly sending us a monthly check; a check we need to pay the mortgage.  One day everything was as good as breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and the next we learn that the government has declared the investment a scam and a federal judge has appointed someone we’ve never heard of to be a “Receiver.” (more…)

Like Evil IT Support

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I had to call tech support this weekend. It wasn’t as big a hassle as the last time I waited on hold while India woke up for the day.  The very friendly technician explained that he could take control of my system and do everything necessary, freeing me up to go about my business.  One minute I was moving the cursor around the screen, and the next minute he was controlling things from the other side of the planet.  I came back an hour later and everything worked perfectly.  (more…)

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…)

Brokers Gone Wild (Part 9)

Monday, January 5th, 2009

We were on Part 8 of a series called Brokers Gone Wild - in which we were following the course of a typical financial scam - when Bernard Madoff interrupted us.  We will continue to post on the Madoff scam, but return to the BGW series now to conclude that series.  In Part 8, the checks had stopped coming.  You had begun to think that the worst may have happened, but didn’t know for sure yet.  We pick the story up there.  (more…)

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