Archive for the ‘Affinity Fraud’ Category

Indiana Charges Four With Criminal Affinity Fraud

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

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:

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Ex-pastor Charged in a Multimillion Dollar Fraud Scheme

Monday, July 6th, 2009

According to an article by Charles Wilson, of the Associated Press, former pastor Vaughn Reeves and three of his sons were charged with securities fraud in Indiana, for a scheme aimed at church members.  The secretary of state’s office said that arrest warrants have been issued for all four men, charging each with 10 felony counts.  Most of the victims lived in Indiana. (more…)

Affinity Fraud and a Ponzi Scheme

Friday, June 19th, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged two California men, Peter C. Son and Jin K. Chung, with running an $80 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Korean-Americans.  (more…)

Lose the “Probably”

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

There is a news article published in UK’s Times Online, by Mr. Mike Harvey, discussing the rise in pyramid and Ponzi fraud schemes in Britain and the United States.  It is very well written, speaking about the internet advertisers and videos helping to make the sale.  According to the article, the scams are being “spurred by the power of the internet, consumer and business groups fear, with old-fashioned cons repackaged as marketing enterprises backed by advertisements on Google, videos on YouTube and enticing websites.”  It’s been dubbed a “fraud for the digital age.”  (more…)

Con Artist Targets California’s Hispanic-American Community

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Affinity fraud is running rampant and, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), it is one of the top ten scams operating today.  Because people are scared of all the Madoff-like stories in the news, they are looking for a “trustworthy” investment.  And who better to trust than someone you have a connection with?  (more…)

A Cultural Experience

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an emergency action in the Northern District of Texas to halt an on-going Ponzi scheme and affinity fraud involving investments in a hedge fund based in Toronto, Canada, and an investment adviser firm in Plano, Texas.  According to the complaint, Weizhen Tang, of Toronto, organized this scheme through the Oversea Chinese Fund Limited Partnership and WinWin Capital Management, LLC, and raised between $50 million and $75 million from more than 200 investors.  (more…)

Scamsters Soil the Promise of America

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained judgments against three people - James Bunchan, Seng Tan, and Christian Rochon - and two companies they operated - WMDS, Inc. (”WMDS”) and OneUniverseOnLine, Inc. (”1UOL”) - for running an affinity scam that defrauded hundreds of investors out of more than $25 million.  In this case, the defendants targeted immigrants from Cambodia, promising them: (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…)

Another Day, Another Affinity Fraud

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Yesterday it was Orthodox Jews.  Today its members of the Family Federation for World Peace (FFWP) - formerly known as the Unification Church.  The SEC has charged Kay Services, LLC, and its sole owner and officer, Marcia Sladich, with orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that bilked at least 1,000 investor of more than $10 million.  (more…)

Don’t Trust the Person You Trust Most

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Give scam artists credit; they know that a personal recommendation trumps a good sales pitch.  They therefore ingratiate themselves with people who are in a position to influence others.  Pastors and Rabbis have tremendous influence and therefore often find themselves used as unwitting cohorts in financial scams.  The Wall Street Journal reports that Rabbi Chaim Silver of the B’nai Israel Congregation in Norfolk, Virginia, found himself in that position.  When members of his congregation called to ask what Rabbi Silver thought of Joseph Shereshevsky, Rabbi Silver described Shereshevsky as ”kind, generous, and trustworthy.”  Federal prosecutors claim that, armed with Silver’s endorsement, Shereshevsky collected more than $250 million in a Ponzi scheme aimed at fleecing Orthodox Jews.    (more…)