Monday, March 30, 2009
Does it seem like more and more ponzi schemes are coming to light these days? Perhaps in part this is because people are scrutinizing their investments, and are realizing that what they thought was a wonderful return for their investment, but not in fact be the case. One thing is for certain, Bernie Madoff is not the only person having ponzi scheme issues as a result of recent events. The latest casualty appears to be in the Central District of California, where an individual is pleading guilty to being involved in a 15 million dollar ponzi scheme. The DOJ Press Release states that this individual "operated a Ponzi scheme through his Newport Beach-based investment companies" and "promised investors 'guaranteed' annual returns of between 10 percent and 18 percent per year, telling investors that their money would be invested in foreign currency trading, oil wells, real estate and other vehicles." The press release states that "[o]ver the course of his scheme, [he] defrauded more than 200 people out of more than $15 million, taking millions of dollars that his victims [ ] initially invested in IRA retirement savings accounts." In addition to pleading guilty to mail fraud for the ponzi scheme, the press release notes that there were "bribery, passport fraud and identity fraud charges resulting from his attempt to procure a fraudulent passport and flee the country after his scheme collapsed."