Archive for February, 2009

SEC Halts Alleged Ponzi Targeting Deaf Community

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has halted an alleged Ponzi scheme targeting deaf investors in the United States in Japan.  The SEC charged Hawaii-based Billion Coupons, Inc. (”BCI”) and its CEO Marvin R. Cooper with operating a Ponzi scheme that “raised $4.4 million from 125 investors since at least September 2007.”  Specifically, the SEC’s complaint alleges: (more…)

When Stockbrokers Leave the Industry

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed suit against a former stockbroker, William L. Walters, charging him with running a $16.8 million Ponzi scheme that victimized 80 investors.  According to the SEC, Walters, of Lone Tree, Colorado, promised annual returns between 20% and 40%, but did very little trading, using the bulk of the money to keep the illusion of success going by paying early investors supposed “profit distributions.”  The SEC says that Walters used the rest of the money to support a lavish lifestyle, “with expensive cars and homes in Colorado and Hawaii.” (more…)

Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Money magazine calls her show, “The best money on TV.”  Former Wall Street Journal reporter Consuelo Mack is the host of a show called Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack.  It airs on PBS stations in the biggest television markets in America, and some smaller ones as well.  Each week she covers topics relevant to the enormous wave of baby boomers rolling toward retirement.  In these desperate times, her show has never been more relevant. (more…)

A Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Times are tough for wallets and bank accounts- and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.  With that being said, scamsters are preying on your desire to increase your account balance and dig your way out of the hole.  And I can’t blame you for wanting to get rich quick—don’t we all?—but don’t let that desire make you a victim.  Before you invest any of your money, remember that if it seems too good to be true, then you will be handing your hard earned money over to a scamster.  (more…)

Proactive Protection

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

If you’ll notice, there are more and more scams hitting the news. And if you spend anytime on the FINRA or SEC website, you’ll also notice that the regulatory firms are doing what they can to find and punish the scamsters. And while I’m very grateful for that, the problem is it doesn’t offer protection from scams that have yet to be discovered.  (more…)

The Truth About SEC Enforcement

Friday, February 20th, 2009

The primary investigators at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission go by the title ”Enforcement Attorney.”  They are responsible for investigating suspected violations of the federal securities laws and assisting the Trial Attorneys in commencing legal action to halt ongoing frauds and bring violators to justice.  They are smart, dedicated, hardworking protectors of American investors.  If you meet one of them, you will come away with the impression that they are “true believers,” not just stereotypical government employees.  They work long hours under extreme stress.  How many Enforcement Attorneys do you think there are to protect a nation of 305 million people?  (more…)

At 80, Elie Wiesel Starts Over

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Do yourself a favor.  Read Bob Minzesheimer’s story in USA Today about Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.  An author, humanitarian, and a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, Wiesel learned that his charitable foundation was a victim of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.  Among other things, the Foundation “sponsors conferences for Nobel laureates and centers in Israel for refugees from Ethiopia and Darfur.”  (more…)

Allen Stanford - SEC Shuts Down Alleged $8 Billion Scam Involving Certificates of Deposit

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

We’ve been predicting that scam artists would begin centering their schemes on certificates of deposit.  Financial criminals follow the headlines, because the news helps them establish creditability.  The biggest story in the news for the past few months has been the world-wide financial collapse.  In turbulent times, people want safety and security.  So . . . along come sales pitches for certificates of deposit. (more…)

Mini-Madoff’s Are Everywhere

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

A prominent investment adviser, and host of the WGN radio show, “On the Money” which ran from 1999-2006, is being accused of running a Ponzi scheme.  Just like Madoff, he seemed so knowledgeable and trustworthy, that none of the investors who gave them their money suspected a thing.  Because he gave financial advice on his program, he was thought of as an “expert”. (more…)

SEC Charges Alleged Market Manipulator

Monday, February 16th, 2009

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (”SEC”) has charged George Georgiou of Ontario, Canada with reaping over $17 million by manipulating the market for four microcap stocks - Avicena Group, Inc., Neutron Enterprises, Inc., Hydrogen Hybrid Technologies, Inc., and Northern Ethanol, Inc.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Georgiou had a controlling interest in each of the companies and exercised a controlling influence over the management of the companies.  The Commission also alleges that Georgiou had many off-shore nominees - called “rat holes” in the industry - who took his direction for when to buy and sell and in what amount.  The SEC claims that Georgiou created interest in the stocks through the use of trading in the nominee accounts, giving the false impression that their was great interest in the companies, coupled with the issuance of false press releases regarding supposed material positive events at the companies.  (more…)