Archive for the ‘Pennsylvania’ Category

SEC Halts Alleged Philadelphia Ponzi Scheme

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has halted an alleged Ponzi scheme operated by a Philadelphia-area investment adviser.  Specifically, the SEC charged Donald Anthony Walker Young, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and his company, Acorn Capital Management, LLC (Acorn Capital), with raising more than $23 million by falsely claiming that he would generate returns through trading in public securities.  (more…)

Snipe Season

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

I think I was ten years old when I went on my first and only snipe hunt.  I didn’t catch one.  I was sure I’d had bad technique or maybe just bad luck until the next morning when my friend who’d invited me on the hunt clued me in. 

Prosecutors in Eastern Pennsylvania have accepted a guilty plea from a woman who accepted $400,000 in return from taking investors on a financial snipe hunt.  Michele Antal convinced investors that they could take advantage of the falling dollar by buying German Certificates of Deposit.  Like the snipe, though, no such CDs existed. 

Lately I have been reminded that the prime bank scam will never die.  At the center of each is a snipe so big that it could feed you for a lifetime.  Bank Guarantees.  Standby Letters of Credit.  Medium Term Notes.  Bank Issued Debentures.  High Yield Investment Programs.  None of them exist.  Yet each is described in such meticulous detail and sold with such soothing assurances of complete safety and astronomical returns that investors invest and lose billions each year. 

Baby boomers and seniors — if you are considering an investment program that centers on a financial instrument you have never invested in before, ask someone with SEC-experience (preferably one who has been on a snipe hunt) to investigate before you invest your nest egg. 

Ponzi Operator’s Surrender of Assets Just a Drop in the Ocean

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Among the trappings of wealth that Wesley Snyder accumulated in the three years he ran a Ponzi scheme under the name Personal Financial Management Inc., are a house in Oley, Pennsylvania, two office buildings, a North Carolina time-share condominium, bank accounts, two cars, and 12 life insurance policies.  The two office buildings are valued at $525,000.  The home in Oley is valued at $200,000.  The life insurance policies have a face amount of $12 million, but a net cash surrender value of only $111,000.  Unfortunately the value of all of the assets after mortgages and other indebtedness is paid is only about $165,000. 

Don Spatz of the Reading Eagle reports: (more…)

Criminal Indictment in PA School Case Reveals Vulnerability of Institutional Investors

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that a federal grand jury in Philadelphia has returned a nine-count indictment against Robert Bradbury (Bradbury) and his company, Dolphin & Bradbury, Incorporated (D&B), a Philadelphia broker-dealer.  According to the indictment, Bradbury defrauded four Pennsylvania school districts by luring them into buying high risk anticipation notes issued to pay for the construction of a speculative golf course project known as Whitetail.  (more…)