ponzi scheme

FINRA Bans Broker Who Sold $3.5M in Woodbridge Ponzi

In order to strengthen the message that such schemes will not be tolerated, and will be punished tot he fullest extent of the law, the financial industry watchdog agency, FINRA, has begun to look at the role of individual brokers in shoring up the Woodbridge scam. After all, Woodbridge’s success, during which it swelled to a value of over $1.2 billion at its peak, relied heavily upon an extensive network of brokers and investment professionals who sold Woodbridge promissory notes to retail investors.

Broker-dealers May Be Responsible for Selling Away of Woodbridge

A recent judgment in FINRA arbitration for nearly a quarter of a million dollars against a broker who sold Woodbridge notes to investors has struck fear in the hearts of many firms who weren’t paying attention to their brokers over the past few years. If one firm can be held responsible for the failings of a broker, they all potentially can. And that’s a billion-dollar problem.

$1B Award by Judge in Florida-based Ponzi Scheme Litigation

In one of the largest ever investment fraud schemes in US history, a federal judge in Florida has ordered the operator of a ponzi scheme to pay $1 billion in restitution and fines. Former investors, many of whom were elderly and unsophisticated, can look forward to at least some return on their original investment in the massive ponzi scheme perpetrated by the Woodbridge Group of Companies and its former owner, Robert Shapiro.

As Madoff Drifts into the Mists of Memory, Big Fraud Is Coming Back

Once you're inside a Ponzi Scheme, it can look and feel a lot like a normal investment opportunity, especially if the scheme operator is adept at creating false investment documentation. The key is not to get draw into a Ponzi Scheme in the first place. The most common signs of these frauds are evident from the beginning - that's when you have the greatest chance of identifying them.

Ex-Wells Fargo Broker Stole $1M from Elderly Clients

According to recent information released by the securities industry watchdog, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), over his long 35 year career with major brokerage houses including Stifel and most recently Wells Fargo, former Certified Financial Planner John Gregory Schmidt formed close personal relationships with elderly and infirm clients in order to win their trust and steal their money.

Hedge Fund Ponzi Busted

According to the Massachusetts Depart of Justice, Raymond Montoya ran his Ponzi scheme for almost a decade under the auspices of a fund called RMA Strategic Opportunity Fund, LLC. Over the years, investors transferred millions of dollars to Montoya on the promise that he would invest the money in stocks and bonds.

Ponzi Schemer Paid for Prayers - SEC Probe

An investment advisor charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme spent close to a million dollars on prayers from Hindu priests in order to keep the feds at bay. In spite of her prayers, however, Dawn Bennett was convicted by the federal government of defrauding more than 200 investors of nearly $18 million over the past several years.

Ponzi-scheme Operator Sentenced to 30 years in Prison

According to the US Attorney’s office in Arizona, a group operating a Ponzi Scheme solicited millions of dollars in investments for various companies and projects, including real estate, recycling, and land development in Mexico. The solicitations were made through numerous seminars, magazines articles, radio broadcasts, and private offerings.

SEC Busts $350 Million Ponzi-like Scheme

The SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) announced today that it has obtained a court order to shut down a major investment operation worth approximately $345 million. According to the SEC complaint, the scheme involved more than 230 investors from the United States and was lead by Kevin B. Merrill and Cameron Jezierski.

Phony Billionaire Connected to Ponzi Scheme

Financier Steve Stovanovich liked to play the big man. Over the past few years, he has pledged multimillionaire donations to the University of Chicago and institute named on his behalf. But as a recent investigation by the Chicago Maroon has revealed, Stovanovich may not possess the vast wealth he says he has.

PA Brokerage Ordered to Pay $1M in Damages

According to public records, Greensburg, Pennsylvania based brokerage firm, Trustmont Financial Group, Inc. was ordered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to pay an aggrieved client more than $1 million in damages. 

SEC Busts $102 Million Ponzi Scheme

According to the SEC's complaint, a group of financial managers and companies located in different regions of the country, including in New York, Florida, Texas, and Ohio, orchestrated what appears to a massive fraud to bilk unwitting investors out of millions of hard-earned dollars.

How to Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud: 5 Questions

What can you do, oh unsophisticated investor, to protect yourself against the attacks and traps of some of history's most dastardly fraudsters? For a start you can ask yourself the following 5 questions about investment fraud - and answer them as honestly as possible. Remember, when you're trying to protect yourself from the deception, the last thing you want to do is self-deceive!

FINRA Broker Disciplinary Action Report: June 2016

Each month and again on a quarterly basis, the agency that regulates the financial industry, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), produces a detailed report that runs down all disciplinary actions recently taken against brokerage firms and brokers. This long list of alleged wrongdoing and misconduct reads a lot like a police blotter. We strongly encourage any investor who suspects their broker and/or broker-dealer of having lost them money on dubious terms to at least skim this report to see if you recognize any names, schemes, products, or securities.