Ponzi in Potato Country and a Lesson from Mother Theresa

We cannot and should not look to them to prevent investment fraud before it starts.

I keep track of the states in which the investment scams I write about are based. (After four years of writing every weekday, Vermont finally joined the list last week). Today’s post takes us to one of the states we rarely get to write about — Idaho. According to KPVI News 6: (more…)

CFTC Alleges Ponzi in Idaho

There is little to distinguish them from a guy raising money from people for the express purpose of taking it to the Bellaggio.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission isn’t the only federal regulator of investments. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has jurisdiction in fraud cases involving commodities. Like the SEC, the CFTC moves quickly to shut down investments that it identifies as Ponzi schemes. The CFTC believes that it has found such case in Idaho. According to the CFTC’s press release: (more…)

No Risk? No Way!

If the person who has your money spends money like Paris Hilton on a weekend shopping bender, he is likely spending your money, not his own.

Prosecutors in Idaho have reached a plea agreement with Daren Palmer who, through his company Trigon Group, Inc., stole more than $44 million from more than 60 investors.  Palmer told his victims that he had a risk-free trading system that could generate returns of 20 percent annually.  He gave them promissory notes to reflect the terms of the investment.  The SEC caught onto Palmer back in 2009.  According to the SEC’s press release: (more…)

Who Is Running Your Investment Club?

People have not yet woken up to the truth that churches are prime hunting grounds for investment criminals.

Millions of people invest through investment clubs. Such clubs can be a terrific way to invest, when each member researches proposed purchases and presents his or her findings to the group. But, when the club is dominated by a broker or adviser on whom the other members of the club rely exclusively, there is danger. It is all too easy in such cases for the members of the club to hand not just their nest eggs, but also their complete trust, to the apparently skilled financial adviser. Often, the financial adviser appears to produce good results. The members of the club tell their friends and family about their solid returns, and those people clamor to join the club. The financial adviser, who the members have come to think of as the wizard of the club, is only too happy to have them. The club members learn too late that the wizard has been running a Ponzi scheme, using the nest eggs invested by the later investors to create the illusion of a profitable club by paying supposed profits to earlier investors. Authorities in Idaho believe they have found such a club.  They have charged Dale Edward Lowell, the wizard of Dale’s Investment Club, with running a Ponzi scheme. According to the Bonner County Daily Bee: (more…)

SEC Stops Alleged Nuclear Energy Pump and Dump

We all know that America must pursue clean energy, and we expect that early investors in a company that can bring that energy to market will do very well. That makes us all vulnerable to green energy scams.

We’ve predicted that alternative energy will be part of the new wave of financial fraud. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission believes it has caught one of the first scams in that wave.  Specifically, the SEC has charged “a self-described power company in Idaho with fraudulently raising funds for a $10 billion nuclear power project.” According to the SEC’s press release: (more…)

Alleged Affinity Fraud Rocks Chicago’s Muslim Community

Affinity fraud will always flourish because we tend to believe that people who share our story, our ancestry, our faith, also share our moral code.

“I will never trust anyone with my money again,”  54-year-old Fazal Mahmood told The Associated Press. “I’m a Muslim and he’s a Muslim. I was always taught … a Muslim will never cheat another Muslim.”

And there it is, the foundation of affinity fraud, which the SEC defines as “investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups.” (more…)

Florida-based Immigrant from Madagascar Bilks Hawaiian Investors

We are in the midst of a worldwide scamdemic in which professional con men see the entire globe as the lake in which they fish.

Prosecutors in Hawaii have secured a guilty plea from 34-year-old Patrick Rakotonanahary for bilking 64 Hawaiian investors out of more than $10 million.  Rakotonanahary faces up to 20 years in prison.  According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser: (more…)

SEC Stops Idaho Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shut down a Ponzi scheme operating in Idaho.  Specifically, the SEC has charged Steven E. Tennies and his company, Price Geld & Company, with defrauding dozens of investors in several states of millions of dollars.  Tennies packaged the fraud as limited partnership interests in a fund called the Adeona [...]

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shut down a Ponzi scheme operating in Idaho.  Specifically, the SEC has charged Steven E. Tennies and his company, Price Geld & Company, with defrauding dozens of investors in several states of millions of dollars.  Tennies packaged the fraud as limited partnership interests in a fund called the Adeona Fund.  Instead of investing it as he promised, he siphoned off money for his personal use and hid his scheme by fabricating tax documents and account statements that showed phony returns.  The SEC ’s complaint alleges that:

(more…)

 
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