Archive for the ‘Florida’ Category

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…)

Madoff 3 - ‘Smart’ Choices

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

It will be hard for Bernard Madoff to think of himself as smart when he’s sitting in a cell in a federal penitentiary.  And no one who has a heart for the victms of schemes like his can admire anything about his fraud.  But, among the community of scam artists, his scheme has, no doubt, attracted admirers who will learn from Madoff’s example.  (more…)

Madoff 2

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme may have ripples all over the world.  It will be months, if not years, before it fades from the headlines.  Let us hope that the size of the scam does not lead people to write it off as a once-in-a-lifetime event, akin to the current worldwide financial collapse.   (more…)

Brokers Gone Wild (Part 9) - Madoff

Friday, December 12th, 2008

On the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal is the story of Bernard L. Madoff, founder and principal owner of registered investment adviser Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors have accused him of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. (more…)

Take the Extra Step

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Andres L. Pimstein, The Bottom Line of South Florida, Inc, and Summit Trading LLC with operating a $30 million Ponzi scheme.  According to the complaint, the defendants sold securities to over 80 investors in five states, from at least 2005 to April of 2008.  The defendants told investors that their money would buy personal electronics, such as iPods, from vendors in the U.S. to be exported to South America and sold in large department store chains.  The complaint further alleges that the defendants claimed to have an edge over their competitors because the CEO of the South American partner company, Ripley Corp, was Pimstein’s cousin.  (more…)

“I’d Never Fall for That”

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has charged James Asset Advisory, LLC, and its principal, Anthony A. James, with misappropriating client funds and operating a Ponzi scheme.  According to the SEC, the defendants raised approximately $5.2 million from at least 44 clients between April 2001 and January 2008, by telling the clients that their money would be invested in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.  (more…)

Desperate to Believe, Victims Angry with Regulators for Shutting Down Alleged Ponzi

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

It happens in every Ponzi case.  Investors who have been receiving “distributions” from an investment program, or believe that a distribution is just around the corner, become angry when securities regulators shut the investment down and freeze its assets.  The investment promoters put out press releases blaming the regulators for interfering in an investment they “just don’t understand,” and promise that everything will be sorted out shortly.  (more…)

Mastermind Behind ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys Reveals the ‘Art of the Ponzi’

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

“How the mighty have fallen.”  2 Samuel 1:19.

Lou Pearlman-the mastermind behind ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys-now sits in an Orlando jail, having detailed his 20-year life as a Ponzi scheme operator in a signed plea agreement.  The details of how Pearlman’s Ponzi scheme raised $300 million provide a peek into how the most successful Ponzi operators maintain the aura of legitimacy so necessary to their work.  (more…)

Optimism Claims More Victims

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Tom Bayles’s story yesterday in the Sarasota Herald Tribune makes the case for SEC-trained investigation of any broker baby boomers or seniors consider trusting with their nest egg.  It’s a cautionary tale about retirees who chose to bypass professional help in choosing whom to trust and now face retirement without their life savings.  Read the story if you have a minute.  It comes with a complete cast of characters and is well worth your time. 

The events described in Bayles’s story are typical and will recur hundreds of times this year.  An excerpt from a  scholarly paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry, written by Kristen J. Prentice, Ph.D., James M. Gold, Ph.D., and William T. Carpenter Jr., M.D. suggests why: (more…)

Rob Yurnesteg, Ph.D.,M.D., J.D., CPA, CFP

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Ameer Khan, Raquel Kohler and Stephen Ziegler, with anti-fraud violations in connection with the Mutual Benefits Corp. offering fraud and Ponzi scheme that the SEC shut down in May 2004.  Mutual Benefits, headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, raised more than $1 billion from more than 30,000 investors worldwide by selling fractionalized interests in life settlements (sometimes called viatical settlements).  (more…)




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