Archive for the ‘Washington’ Category

Off-the-Rack Ponzi

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

A recent SEC Enforcement case highlights many of the hallmarks of the modern-day Ponzi scheme.  The SEC has charged “John H. Min (Min) of Tacoma, Wash., and his company Dime Financial Group LLC [with] raising more than $6 million in a fraudulent investment scheme that targeted churches, church members and senior citizens.” (more…)

And the Hits Keep Coming

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (”SEC”) has closed another alleged Ponzi scheme - this one in Washington State.  The SEC claims that Craig T. Jolly of Spokane and his company Quest Holdings, Inc. operated an internet-based Ponzi scheme promising returns of 19.5%.  (more…)

Suburban Seattle Man Sentenced for Scam

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Joseph Lavin of Woodinville, Washington told investors in his company-Global Asset Partners-that they would earn returns of more than 30 percent per year through his investments in foreign-currency exchange options.  Many of them instead suffered 100 percent losses when Lavin’s investment turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.  In total, Lavin defrauded 176 investors out of more than $13 million over a nearly six year period from January 2001 to November 2006.  Last week a judge sentenced him to 4.5 years in prison. (more…)

Your Friendly Neighborhood Insurance Agent

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

There’s always a big house and nice car.  Ponzi scheme operators can’t help buying them.  Even so, Michael Duane Smith (Smith) may hold the record for extravagance among Ponzi operators.  He bought not just a house, but a $6.5 million castle in Colorado.  He bought not just a nice car, but a stable of eight high-performance NASCAR racing cars.  Smith now faces 15 years in prison in connection with a Ponzi scheme that collected more than $50 million from 1,000 investors, many of them elderly retirees, nationwide.  (more…)

They Can Run, But They Can’t Hide

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

They can run, but they can’t hide.  Unfortunately, they can spend all your money while they are on the run. 

According to federal authorities, Charles Nolon Bush, 68, of western Washington, ran a Ponzi scheme for four years, between 1998 and 2002, promising investors high yields and giving them the illusion of profits by using money invested by later marks to make payments to earlier marks.   Bush operated under several company names, including Hulaman Management Services, Global Dominion Financial Services, and Cornerstone Institute. (more…)