Posts belonging to Category Ponzi Schemes

Government Looking For Ways To Cover Gap In Investor Protection


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and some Congressmen are seeking to expand the mission of the Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC) to cover investors’ losses in the $7 billion Ponzi scheme operated by convicted felon R. Allen Stanford. The SIPC says it was created by Congress to restore funds to investors with assets in […]

Some Warning Signs of Elder Fraud


The Wall Street Journal has reported that financial scams against the elderly are becoming so commonplace that the National Council on Aging calls them the “crime of the 21st century” (“Scams to Watch Out For,” WSJ). It describes investment scams against baby boomers (those over age 50) as being “rampant.” (“Boomers Wearing Bull’s-Eyes,” WSJ, Kelly […]

Ponzi Scheme Victimizes Texas University


The Houston Athletics Foundation, which funds athletic scholarships for the University of Houston, is apparently the victim of a major ponzi scheme perpetrated by David Salinas, a Houston-based money manager. Approximately, $2.2 million (over 40 percent) of the Foundation’s assets are unaccounted for, having been supposedly invested in bonds that never existed. The ponzi scheme […]

Investment Fraud Against Older Americans Is ‘Rampant’


Promoters of fraudulent investments are targeting the 77 million baby boomers in the U.S. who make up 25 percent of the population, according to securities regulators and prosecutors (“Boomers Wearing Bull’s-Eyes,” Wall Street Journal, Kelly Greene). Regulators expect to file a record number of enforcement actions involving investors age 50 years and older, as financial […]

SEC Inspector General Confirms that SEC Improperly Destroyed Records


The SEC’s Inspector General, David Kotz, has reportedly confirmed that the SEC improperly shredded documents related to closed investigations, and misled another federal agency, the National Archives and Records Administration, which had confronted the SEC last year about record destruction. Mr. Kotz’s report was issued to the SEC and has not officially been made public.

‘Selling Away’ Abuses Result in Merrill Lynch Being Fined $1 Million


Merrill Lynch agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) that it failed to supervise Bruce Hammonds, a San Antonio-based representative, who was ‘selling away’ from the firm by operating a $1 million dollar Ponzi scheme for more than 10 months. The ponzi scheme, named B&J Partnership, used […]

‘Selling Away’ Abuses Are Costing Investors Millions


Brokers often pitch alternative investments when the stock market is declining and returns on traditionally safe investments are too low. A few alternative investments may have some merit. Many more are flawed, bad and ugly in that they provide investors little more than uncompensated high risk. Then there are those that cross the line into […]

Protect Yourself Against Investment Scams


Investment fraud accounts for $40 billion in investor losses per year, according to the association of state securities regulators called the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). Con artists take advantage of fear as well as greed, and fear of running out of money is prevalent these days.

Seniors Are Increasingly Targeted in Financial Scams


The time is ripe for financial scammers who seek to take advantage of senior investors. Recently a 76-year-old Texas insurance agent was sentenced to up to 15 years for selling fake annuities to other elderly investors. The scammer in this case just happened to be the same age as many of his elderly victims. Mr. […]

Another ‘Black Eye’ for the SEC


A recent report from the SEC Inspector General has given the SEC another “black eye.” Apparently, senior management at the SEC allowed its general counsel. David Becker, to participate and vote in a decision on whether Madoff victims would be entitled to recover fraudulent “profits” in their account or whether recoveries would be limited to […]