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Articles Posted in Ponzi Schemes

Scott Silver, Silver Law Group’s managing partner, was recently interviewed for an article on Investmentnews.com that details the alleged “hot air” spewed by brokers to sell $1.8 billion of GPB Capital Holdings to investors.  Silver Law Group represents investors in claims to recover GPB investment losses. If you have losses from investing in GPB, contact Silver Law Group for a no-cost consultation at (800) 975-4345 or at ssilver@silverlaw.com.  Founded in 2013 by Scientologist David Gentile, GPB calls itself an alternative asset manager that invested in income-producing companies, including auto dealerships and a waste management company. To raise capital, GPB used dozens of regional broker dealers and advisory firms across the country to sell private placements  in its various funds to investors.  Investors in GPB were told by their brokers and financial advisers that they were buying into a company that would pay 8% distributions and may one day go public to give them additional return.  GPB Goes Downhill  GPB private placements have not performed the way investors believed they would. In 2018, GPB stopped paying distributions to customers. In 2019, the FBI raided the company’s offices, class action lawsuits were filed, and the company reported that the value of its funds was down significantly.Scott Silver, Silver Law Group’s managing partner, was recently interviewed for an article on Investmentnews.com that details the alleged “hot air” spewed by brokers to sell $1.8 billion of GPB Capital Holdings to investors.

Silver Law Group represents investors in claims to recover GPB investment losses. If you have losses from investing in GPB, contact Silver Law Group for a no-cost consultation at (800) 975-4345 or at ssilver@silverlaw.com. Continue reading ›

Scott SilverScott Silver, Silver Law Group’s managing partner, recently gave a presentation to the American Association of Justice on Ponzi schemes and how victims may be able to recover their losses from third party professionals. Scott is the chair of the securities fraud group of the American Association of Justice and lectures frequently on Ponzi schemes and investment fraud.  Most people think of Bernie Madoff when they think of Ponzi Schemes. His was the most famous and biggest in history. But in the decade since his scheme was revealed, there have been more than 600 Ponzi schemes, which have not gotten as much attention.  Non Stock Market Correlated Assets  Scott noted that in recent years many investors have sought non-stock market correlated assets, and that Wall Street has tried to replace the commissions it used to earn on stock sales with commissions on investments that are exempt from registration. Non-traditional, unregistered securities may be more likely to be associated with fraud than other securities., Silver Law Group’s managing partner, recently gave a presentation to the American Association of Justice on Ponzi schemes and how victims may be able to recover their losses from third party professionals. Scott is the chair of the securities fraud group of the American Association of Justice and lectures frequently on Ponzi schemes and investment fraud. Continue reading ›

The SEC recently issued a final judgment against Jose Angel Aman, the mastermind behind three Ponzi schemes involving uncut colored diamonds and cryptocurrency. The order involves disgorgement of $4.2 million in ill-gotten gains and legal fees of $325,033. Additionally, the criminal case ordered him to pay restitution of $23.9 million, which includes the $4.2 million disgorgement.  In a case that repeats like so many before it, Aman, along with his partner first began offering unsolicited securities in about May 2014. Their two Palm-Beach based companies, Natural Diamonds and Eagle Financial Diamond Group Inc. collected $25 million from investors.  The draw was investing in the company that would purchase raw, uncut colored diamonds, cut them, then resell the alleged stones at a significant profit. The principal would be returned within two years with an alleged 24% rate of return.  The men assured investors that their investments were safe because the money was secured by Aman’s diamond inventory that was alleged to be worth $25 million. When the investment periods ended, Aman would convince the investors to “roll over” their money into new investments. Their “reinvestment contracts” allowed them to keep the scheme going until they could find new investors and raise additional capital to pay out.The SEC recently issued a final judgment against Jose Angel Aman, the mastermind behind three Ponzi schemes involving uncut colored diamonds and cryptocurrency. The order involves disgorgement of $4.2 million in ill-gotten gains and legal fees of $325,033. Additionally, the criminal case ordered him to pay restitution of $23.9 million, which includes the $4.2 million disgorgement. Continue reading ›

Another Miami hedge fund has been accused of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On April 23, 2021 the SEC filed a complaint that charges Andrew Franzone and investment adviser FF Fund Management, LLC “with fraudulently raising and misappropriating tens of millions of dollars from the sale of limited partnership interests in a private fund, FF Fund I LP.”Another Miami hedge fund has been accused of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On April 23, 2021 the SEC filed a complaint that charges Andrew Franzone and investment adviser FF Fund Management, LLC “with fraudulently raising and misappropriating tens of millions of dollars from the sale of limited partnership interests in a private fund, FF Fund I LP.” Continue reading ›

Silver Law Group, a national securities and investment fraud law firm that represents Ponzi scheme victims, is investigating Harbor City Capital Corp. and its founder, Melbourne, Florida resident Jonathan P. Maroney (JP Maroney, Jonathan Paul Maroney), for running an alleged Ponzi scheme.  Jonathan P. Maroney Alleged To Have Sold Unregistered Fraudulent Securities   An emergency action filed April 20, 2021, by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in federal court in the Middle District of Florida alleges that Maroney used Harbor City Capital, a purported "online lead generation campaign business," and a number of entities to raise $17.1 million through offerings of unregistered fraudulent securities. Jonathan P. Maroney allegedly used those proceeds to maintain his Ponzi scheme and for his personal use.  Maroney, 50, sold unregistered fraudulent securities as either promissory notes, fixed-rate funding agreements, or high yield, secured bonds while promising investors monthly returns ranging from 1 percent to 5 percent—and annual returns from 10 percent to 60 percent. Through marketing videos and social media, Jonathan P. Maroney ensnared over 100 victims across the United States, according to the SEC.Silver Law Group, a national securities and investment fraud law firm that represents Ponzi scheme victims, is investigating Harbor City Capital Corp. and its founder, Melbourne, Florida resident Jonathan P. Maroney (JP Maroney, Jonathan Paul Maroney), for running an alleged Ponzi scheme. Continue reading ›

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against Melbourne, Florida resident Jonathan P. Maroney, accusing him of running an ongoing Ponzi scheme through his company Harbor City Capital Corp., LLC and other entities. Although characterized as an internet marketing company, Maroney allegedly structured the company to raise money from investors who would profit from Harbor City Capital’s operations placing ads on the internet.  In reality, according to the SEC allegations, Maroney used investor money for his own use and benefit and was operating a Ponzi scheme. The SEC emergency action, filed April 20, 2021, in federal court in the Middle District of Florida, halted the alleged Ponzi scheme and marketing scam that the SEC said was ongoing. Maroney, 50, raised more than $17.1 million by offering fraudulent unregistered securities to finance his business of online “customer lead generation campaigns,” in which online sales leads are created and sold to third party businesses. In fact, very little of the capital that Maroney raised through his securities offerings went into this business, the SEC alleges, and was instead misappropriated for Maroney’s personal use, to make payments to entities unrelated to the purported purpose of the offerings, and to keep his Ponzi scheme going. Maroney and two relief defendants, Celtic Enterprises, LLC, a company he runs, as well as Maroney’s wife, Tonya L. Maroney, are charged with violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. In addition to the emergency relief granted by the Court, the complaint seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty from each of the defendants.The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a temporary restraining order and asset freeze against Melbourne, Florida resident Jonathan P. Maroney, accusing him of running an ongoing Ponzi scheme through his company Harbor City Capital Corp., LLC and other entities. Although characterized as an internet marketing company, Maroney allegedly structured the company to raise money from investors who would profit from Harbor City Capital’s operations placing ads on the internet. In reality, according to the SEC allegations, Maroney used investor money for his own use and benefit and was operating a Ponzi scheme. Continue reading ›

City National Bank is a named co-defendant in a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Central  District of California by victims of alleged Ponzi schemer Zachary Horwitz, a sometimes-Hollywood actor under the name Zach Avery who raised $690 million through a bogus film licensing company called 1inMM Capital, LLC.  Zachary Horwitz Alleged Mastermind Of Ponzi Scheme  The complaint alleges that City National, in maintaining at least seven separate accounts to which Horwitz was the sole authorized signatory, “knew of and substantially assisted Horwitz’s fraudulent scheme.” That scheme, for which the complaint says Horwitz now owes defrauded investors more than $230 million, involved the selling of short-term, high-yield promissory notes to investors, in exchange for which Horwitz promised to purchase movie rights and broker licensing deals, using his industry connections at HBO, Netflix, and Sony.City National Bank is a named co-defendant in a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Central  District of California by victims of alleged Ponzi schemer Zachary Horwitz, a sometimes-Hollywood actor under the name Zach Avery who raised $690 million through a bogus film licensing company called 1inMM Capital, LLC. Continue reading ›

Broker-dealers under the Advisor Group (which includes SagePoint Financial, Royal Alliance Associates Inc., Triad, Woodbury Financial Services, and FSC Securities) have increased legal reserves by about $4.4 million compared to the prior year, according to SEC filings. According to an InvestmentNews article, Royal Alliance, SagePoint, and FSC increased their reserves by as much as three times the amount of the prior year. GPB Sales Cost Broker-Dealers The Advisor Group firms say they increased their reserves for “legal and regulatory matters”, but don’t say exactly what those matters are. One issue that may be costing the firms is the sale of GPB Capital Holdings private placements, which recently was charged with running a Ponzi-like scheme and had three of its senior executives arrested.Broker-dealers under the Advisor Group (which includes SagePoint Financial, Royal Alliance Associates Inc., Triad, Woodbury Financial Services, and FSC Securities) have increased legal reserves by about $4.4 million compared to the prior year, according to SEC filings. Continue reading ›

On April 5, 2021, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a Complaint against Zachary Horwitz and 1inMM Capital arising from an alleged “offering fraud and Ponzi scheme in violation of federal securities laws.” Among other things, the SEC alleged Horowitz and 1inMM “raised over $690 million from investors by selling promissory notes . . . using fabricated agreements and fake emails with prominent third parties with whom Defendants had no actual business relationship.”  The SEC was able to obtain an asset freeze and emergency relief, but investors are now struggling to figure out whether they will receive any meaningful portion of their investments back.  Los Angeles-Based Actor Zachary Horwitz Was Alleged Mastermind Of The Ponzi Scheme  According to the SEC’s Complaint, Horwitz raised money from investors in the form of promissory notes issued by his company, 1inMM Capital. Regarding the promissory notes, the SEC alleged:  Horwitz and 1inMM “represented that 1inMM would use the proceeds from each Promissory Note to finance transactions in which Defendants would: (1) acquire distribution rights in a specific movie; (2) license those rights to a specific media company; and (3) use the profits from these transactions to satisfy the note.” “Horwitz represented to investors that he and 1inMM would profit from these transactions by selling the movie rights to HBO or Netflix at a profit in excess of the profits paid to investors, and that Horwitz and 1inMM would retain this excess.”On April 5, 2021, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a Complaint against Zachary Horwitz and 1inMM Capital arising from an alleged “offering fraud and Ponzi scheme in violation of federal securities laws.” Among other things, the SEC alleged Horowitz and 1inMM “raised over $690 million from investors by selling promissory notes . . . using fabricated agreements and fake emails with prominent third parties with whom Defendants had no actual business relationship.” Continue reading ›

On February 4, 2021, the SEC charged GPB Capital Holdings, its officials, and other affiliated entities with making material misrepresentations, violating whistleblower laws, and defrauding over 17,000 investors in a $1.7 billion Ponzi-like scheme. In the complaint, the SEC alleges that David Gentile, GPB Capital’s owner and CEO, and Jeffry Schneider, owner of a GPB affiliate called Ascendant Capital, falsely told investors that an 8% annualized distribution payment came exclusively from monies generated by the company’s portfolio companies. In reality, the distribution came from new investor contributions. The SEC also charged Jeffrey Lash, another GPB exec, with manipulating financial statements to further the Ponzi scheme and allege that GPB violated whistleblower laws by including language in its contracts that impeded potential whistleblowers and retaliated against a known whistleblower.On February 4, 2021, the SEC charged GPB Capital Holdings, its officials, and other affiliated entities with making material misrepresentations, violating whistleblower laws, and defrauding over 17,000 investors in a $1.7 billion Ponzi-like scheme. Continue reading ›

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