Cali PONZI Scheme Brokwn Up, Trio Face Charges
Ponzi Schemes of the Caribbean
I know it seems quaint, a mere $23 million ponzi scheme. Nonetheless, the Feds have cracked it. If you had cash with Financial Solutions of Inland Empire, I'd make a call.
Labels: Catherine Lipscomb, Chirstiano Kawika Hashimoto Jr., David Lincoln Johnson, Financial Solutions, ponzi scheme
As SEC Twiddled Thumbs the Stanford Fraud Rolled On
From the fine folks at Baseline Scenario
- a link to a new International Monetary Fund working paper
detailing more than you ever wanted to know about you know what taking place you know where.
If unregulated investment schemes taking place at tropical latitudes are your thing, check it out right here.
Case studies galore.
Thanks to a regular friend of the blog for sending the link along.
Labels: IMF, ponzi scheme
Who Got Took?
All it took was (four) years of diddling at the SEC, multiple whistleblowers (at least five) and the Bernie Madoff debacle to bring down the Stanford Financial house of cards. Here's a pretty darn good run-down from Bloomberg
of R. Allen Stanford's various brushes with the law prior to his current PONZI poster-boy status.
Labels: ponzi scheme, R. Allen Stanford
SEC Charges Ponzi Scammers for Ripping off Military Families
Bernie Madoff's epic ponzi scheme
really boggles the mind. Given his star power as former NASDAQ chief he was able to attract an A-List group of clients. Many news organizations have taken some time compiling various lists of brand names that got taken. If you're one of those trying to keeping score, FinAlternatives has a running list of the names (and the numbers).
Labels: Bernie Madoff, ponzi scheme
James Duncan, Hendrix Montecastro and Maurice E. McLeod - you are scum.
81 Year Old Sentenced to 28 years in $190 Million Ponzi Scheme
Labels: ponzi scheme, SEC
Economan Breaks Down, Hedge Fund Ponzi Scheme Probed
20+ years, 1800 victims, $190 million dollars - father and son John and Daniel Heath had quite a ponzi scheme
going, selling phoney investments to the elderly.
The two, along with a third man, Denis O'Brien, have already been convicted, John Heath on dozens of fraud-related counts including selling false securities and grand theft, Daniel Heath on literally hundreds.
Sentencing is in progress. John Heath, already in his 80s is facing 28 years. O'Brien and the younger Heath could each face 30 years themselves and will be sentenced in the next few weels.
Labels: Daniel O'Brien, David Heath, John Heath, ponzi scheme
Ponzi Fraudster Linked to Ferris Baker Watts, Advest Brokers
Albert E. Parish is the Economan.
His website is a must-see
. He's also the target of a government investigation
into his financial management practices, which ended up costing his clients millions. Parish's assets are currently at auction
in an attempt to make back some of the money he lost. You can view the items here.
Labels: Albert E. Parish, Fraud, hedge fund, ponzi scheme
Boy Band Producer Finally Gets Nailed on Investment Scams
Accused Ponzi Fraudster, David Dadante, ripped off more than 100 people
who altogether invested tens of millions with him, thinking they were placing their money in a blue chip stock fund. In the end, they were only really placing their cash into Dadante's pockets.
Between 1999 and 2005 he blew through nearly $30 million and when he wasn't busy gambling away investors money, prosecutors say that Dadante and two brokers - one from Advest
(now part of Merrill Lynch) and one from Ferris Baker Watts
- were busy manipulating the stock price of the Georgria-based Innotrac Corporation
Late last week Dadante was charged with two counts of securities fraud. His two apparent accomplices have not yet been charged or publicly named. Details here
Labels: Advest, David Dadante, Ferris Baker Watts, Fraud, ponzi scheme, securities
HMC International Fraudsters Agree to Pay Restitution
If creating audaciously bad music was a crime, Lou Pearlman would already be serving life in prison. As it happens, churning out crappy, pre-packaged teen idols like New Kids on the Block, The Backstreet Boys and O-Town (as your daughters...) isn't yet a crime in the United States.
Running a half-billion dollar investment scam is another story. Despite more that ten years of red flags that should have sent investors running scared and brought authorities knocking on his door, Pearlman managed to keep his investment program, a retirement plan for Trans Continental Airlines, active and afloat.
No longer. The hunt is on for Pearlman's assets
and the fund is facing more than 1,400 investor claims.
Labels: investment scam, Lou Pearlman, ponzi scheme
The SEC has announced that Bret Grebow and Robert Massimi, the dynamic duo behind the defunct Philadelphia-based HMC International hedge-fund-slash-ponzi-scheme have agreed to pay restitution to their former investors in order to settle pending charges relating to their misuse of investor funds. Details here.
SEC Freezes Assets of Dodgy Hedge Funds, FJR Corp., Russo Associates and Eliot Partners
Labels: Bret Grebow, Fraud, hedge fund, HMC Internationa, ponzi scheme, Robert Massimi
12Daily Shut Down by SEC
By now you know the story by heart. Promises of great returns...money changes hands and it all ends in tears (and litigation). In this case $11.5 million was entrusted to Frank J. Russo of Wakefield, Massachuetts. Unfortunately for his investors, Russo's lone "alternative investment" strategy was of the Ponzi variety. Read more
via the Boston Herald.
Labels: ponzi scheme
FBI Investigating Web-Based Ponzi Scam
I'd been meaning to follow-up on this story
for a few days...
...The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed fraud charges against the owner of an "autosurf" Web site, accusing Charis Johnson, 33, of operating a $50 million Ponzi scam from which she snagged some $2 million to fill her own coffers.
Filed in Los Angeles federal court, the suit alleges that Johnson, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, operated a Ponzi scheme via www.12dailypro.com. The scheme, according to the SEC complaint, netted Johnson a whopping $50 million from the more than 300,000 members who joined up since the middle of 2005.
"The defendants falsely represented that upgraded members earnings 'are financed not only [by] incoming member fees, but also with multiple income streams including advertising and off-site investments,'" the SEC alleges. "In fact, at least 95 percent of 12daily Pro's revenues have come from new investments in the form of membership fees from new or existing members."
The SEC has frozen $1.9 million that Johnson transferred to her personal bank account along with other 12daily Pro assets...
Read more of the article here.
Labels: ponzi scheme
Prophecy Training a Scam? You Don't Say...
12DailyPro is an online advertising firm that helpfully automatically rotates advertiser-sponsored websites in one's Internet browser. Advertisers pay money to 12DailyPro for brokering the eyes on ads. 12DailyPro then, in turn, pays the viewers a certain percentage commission to view the rotated websites." For web surfers who take 12DailyPro up on their product, the company promises an astounding 12% return on the daily contribution provided (I DID mention that there is a daily contribution required, right?).
Now despite the fact that this set-up sounds entirely like a ponzi scheme, 12DailyPro president, Charis Johnson, insists her company is nothing of the sort. The company homepage
, however, does offer this word of warning about participating in 12DailyPro's pyramid scheme -STRIKE THAT - home business opportunity
Just like any other type of contribution, participating in autosurf programs has its own risk. The autosurf industry today is full of scams. Many individuals have taken autosurfing as an opportunity to create modern pyramid schemes. They design their sites to look like professional autosurf companies, offer high interest rates (in return for high contributions), and run away with the members' money when the programs start to collapse.
12DailyPro has never missed a payment to anyone! Additionally every single member has been paid on time. See for yourself here. You can make up to $220 profit a day without ever having to recruit anyone, advertise, or sell anything. This paid Auto-Surf program is the real deal, and you will soon see this for yourself once you join.
A word of warning when contributing:
- Don't contribute money that you can't afford to lose
- Investigate before you contribute. Research the various programs.
- Diversify money into several autosurf programs in order to reduce your exposure to one program and reduce your risk
Sounds totally legit right? Right...? Well 12DailyPro's financial transaction processor, Stormpay
doesn't think so and reported 12DailyPro to the FBI who is now investigating. Via Informationweek.com
FBI Probes Site, Ponzi Scam Alleged
By Gregg Keizer
February 17, 2006
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced this week that it has begun an inquiry into 12dailypro.com, a so-called "auto-surfing" marketing company that's been accused of running a Ponzi scam...12dailypro is one of several "auto-surf" sites on the Web that promise large returns to members who agree to view their ads. More than two weeks ago, its payment processor, StormPay, suspended payments to 12dailypro members, claiming that the site was an illegal Ponzi scheme...
...12dailypro.com members, including the company's president, Charis Johnson, continued to rail against StormPay on message forums, at times taking a conspiratorial view of the Ponzi allegations. "The fact is that kind of media in this world are only pawns for a larger enemy, who will eventually lose his battle. Yesterday I lost sight of that," wrote Johnson Thursday. "I am under fire right now and my faith is being tested. I will continue to pray that I will not act as the world does and I will remember who's ultimately in control."
She was confident, however, that the FBI investigation would exonerate 12dailypro. "We have been completely up front with investigators and have answered all questions posed to us and cooperated fully," she wrote on Wednesday. "Let me assure you, had they deemed this to be a scam, I would not be chatting with you right now. I would be in custody."
For its part, StormPay is under investigation by Tennessee authorities who are conducting an audit of the 30,000 to 35,000 frozen 12dailypro accounts...
Read the full article here
. And check out this
(South African?) 12DailyPro page for details on how the company has responded publicly
to the charges againse them. A snippet:
12dp Site Update - Feb 6 - by Charis - 12DP Admin at 2006-02-06 22:22:52
I wanted to take this time to update you on our progress with the StormPay issue and few other items.
I am sure you are all under stably anxious to hear updates on our progress toward recovering our funds. Today, we made significant progress with the attorney who will be representing us in this matter. He has outlined a strategy for attempting to get our funds released by StormPay by whatever means at our disposal. We hope for swift action in the matter and will keep you as informed as things unfold, to the extent that we can without compromising the case.
. And an UPDATE
. 12Daily cancels planned convention
And even more details on the conflagration from the "Fair Trade Authority
Labels: ponzi scheme
Religion and investing, I wouldn't be the first to point out, seldom mix. So when a local church founder and self-professed "apostle" named Neulan Midkiff offers to sell you interest in foreign bank deposit programs and promises no risk and high yield, I would say, take a pass. Sadly more than a thousand well-meaning investors didn't. But the good news is that Midkiff, who denies wrong-doing, and his "prophetess" wife, Donna, are now on the hook for a multi-million dollar fraud:
'Apostle' was a swindler, SEC says - Forest Lake church founder accused of financial scheme
BY MEGAN BOLDT
Jan. 16, 2006
To many in the small congregation of Shiloh Family Church in Forest Lake, Neulan Midkiff is a man of God. He gave to those in need and even helped found the church. But federal regulators paint a different picture. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas, the Securities and Exchange Commission accuses Midkiff and five others of participating in a high-yield investment scheme that offered monthly returns between 4 percent and 12 percent — without risk. The scheme allegedly brought in at least $36 million and possibly as much as $150 million.
Midkiff, 63, did not return messages left for comment. But he did deny wrongdoing to Mark King, a financial consultant for the firm that has court-ordered control of his and the other defendants' frozen assets.
The case could grow to affect about 1,500 people from across the country who put money into what authorities call a Ponzi scheme, which uses the contributions of newly recruited participants to cover extremely high returns promised to original investors — until the ploy crumbles.
Investigators claim Midkiff alone brought in more than 200 people who invested more than $2.6 million. Many of those were members of his congregation, and some took out second mortgages to raise their stake, said King, who works for Hays Financial Consulting in Atlanta, the court-appointed receiver.
"The people I talked to couldn't believe he did this," King said. " 'He's a minister.' 'He's Apostle Midkiff.' 'He was trying to build this church for the community.' They were shocked."
Wendy Goers, co-pastor at Shiloh Family Church with her husband, vehemently defended Midkiff and said he is wrongly accused. "I respect the man greatly," Goers said. "He would never do anything to hurt anyone. He's more likely to give someone the shirt off his back. He's a good Christian man."
The SEC alleges that Midkiff and the other defendants — who live in Texas, Atlanta and Australia — offered and sold interests in foreign bank deposit programs that they promised would yield high returns.
Investigators claim the money never went to the purported deposit programs, while the promised monthly returns haven't been paid since September. The civil complaint says the program has been going on since at least July 2004.
Religion seemed a recurring theme: According to court documents, some investors became aware of some defendants through churches or religious organizations. The alleged ringleader, Atlanta resident Travis Correll, portrayed himself as a "good Christian" and philanthropist who donates to charitable causes. "Midkiff may be parroting Correll's sales pitch to prospective investors," SEC staff attorney Ronda Blair said in a court document.
Several former neighbors in a Forest Lake neighborhood where Midkiff used to live said they were approached — or know people who were approached — to invest. Apparently, people who had invested with Midkiff would tell others about the plan and rave about the returns they were seeing. Some invested, trusting Midkiff because he was a minister, King said.
Records show Midkiff and his wife own two homes in Forest Lake, including a lakefront house purchased last June for almost $1.3 million. And they were the registered owners of four vehicles — including a Mercedes-Benz, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety records retrieved in August.
Court documents allege Midkiff funneled about $2.6 million to Correll from Midkiff's own company, Joshua Tree, a limited liability company in Carson City, Nevada. "I'd say that's a conservative amount," King said.
Goers refused to talk about the case or give details about the church.
But neighbors said the congregation is small, with maybe 100 members. Midkiff was the "Apostle" leading Feast of Tabernacles Ministries, ac-cording to the group's now-defunct Web site. His wife, Donna, is its "Prophetess."
Shiloh Church was to be the beginning of the ministries' plan to plant a network of churches around the globe, the site said. Their mission: "to teach and preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as we seek and save the lost through bridges of outreach that span the gap between the Body of Christ and the world." The husband-and-wife team offered five-day "prophecy training" seminars, which cost $45 for individuals and $65 for families.
Investigators are examining whether Midkiff owned the church building, King said, as the court-appointed receiver tries to find and secure the defendants' assets and report them to the federal judge handling the case. Depositions will then begin to seek facts from all the purported players, he said. If the court finds any wrongdoing, the frozen assets could be used to pay back some of the money owed investors. "It's like a big jigsaw puzzle," King said. "It's going to take a while to piece together."
The original article appears here
, via the Twin Cities Pioneer Press
Labels: ponzi scheme