Archive for October, 2008

The Long Road to Justice

Friday, October 31st, 2008

The Colorado District Court sentenced Robert Ray White Samples to 10 years in jail and ordered him to pay $1.3 million in restitution to his victims.  The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the defendant with operating two fraudulent investment schemes that raised more than $1 million from investors. Some of his defrauded investors were senior citizens. (more…)

My Crystal Ball (Part 3)

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

What does the crystal ball show today?  Let’s take a look.  Yep - there it is - more scams centered upon opportunities that might come along with a change in the occupant of the White House.  Last time, the crystal ball showed more scams centered on alternative energy companies.  Today, I am seeing scams centered on health care.  (more…)

Special Offer For Friends and Family

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Raymond Thomas and his company, Strictly Stocks Investment Company, Inc, with fraudulently raising at least $620,000 from his friends and family through a stock market scheme.  (more…)

My Crystal Ball (Part 2)

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

We are reviewing the scenes playing out in the crystal ball that nearly twenty years of protecting investors (including six in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) has given me.  Today I see pitches for cleverly-disguised scams tied to companies that will supposedly benefit from a change in adminsitratiions in Washington - alternative energy companies. (more…)

My Crystal Ball (Part 1)

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Six years in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and another twelve years representing individual investors have given me what few others have - a crystal ball in which I can see the future of financial scams.  Let me share with you what I see in that crystal ball for the coming two to three years. (more…)

Looking Ahead

Friday, October 24th, 2008

As I write this, the stock market has lost more than 40% of its value, and today is shaping up to be the kind of day that could take another double digit bite out of it.  Those who have not yet fled to cash may do so today.  The near term is no doubt full of lay offs, drastically reduced consumer spending, foreclosures, and a real estate market deeply in the tank.  But, as George Harrison sang, “All Things Must Pass.”  Thank God.  (more…)

Not Enough Cops on the Beat

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Eric Lichtblau, David Johnston and Ron Nixon wrote a great article for BlueRidgeNow.com and the New York Times business feed.  It talks about the F.B.I’s struggle to investigate the current wave of fraud cases, due to a large cut in the criminal investigation work force. (more…)

The Bright Side

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

In my work as a court-appointed receiver in cases involving securities fraud, I talk to several people each week who have lost their life savings to cleverly-disguised scams.  These folks sometimes have to seek bankruptcy protection.  Sometimes the money they lost was set aside to provide for an elderly parent, to send a child to college, or to fund their monthly living expenses.  It is easy to blame the victim, and, sadly, many people do.  (more…)

A Manipulated Stock Price

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil injunctive action against Excellency Investment Realty Trust, Inc and its CEO, David D. Mladen in connection with an alleged market manipulation scheme. (more…)

What the Wolf Can Teach Us about Hen House Design

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Jordan Belfort was featured in a frontpage CNN.com story on Friday.  In recognition of what Belfort can teach us about the securities industry, we are reprising a post from November of last year:

Jordan Belfort’s memoir The Wolf of Wall Street is NC-17 rated; but the truth is sometimes vulgar.  Belfort built Stratton Oakmont into one of the most infamous broker-dealers ever to stain FINRA’s membership list.  Both before and after being barred from the securities industry, he was the moving force behind several other firm’s, receiving millions per year for funding their operations.The story of Belfort’s personal life would consume a month of Jerry Springer shows.  But his story from the wrong side of the law reveals truths that otherwise would remain hidden to most.    (more…)