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Articles Tagged with Ponzi Scheme

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Back in June, we told you about five former brokers charged by the SEC when the agency shut down their Ponzi scheme worth $102 million.

What-Keeps-a-Ponzi-Scheme-Running-300x200Scott Silver recently spoke with Jennifer Cefalu of WHEC News in Rochester, NY, where two of the suspects lived and the scheme originated. The scheme was run by Perry Santillo, Jr. and Chris Parris, with Santillo headlining.

Santillo, Parris and three others recruited their investors by word of mouth, after buying client lists from brokers. Ultimately, 637 people were defrauded, many in the Rochester area. The entities they represented were not registered with any federal agency like the SEC or FINRA, nor were any of them registered brokers or investment advisors.

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There are many different types of investment and securities fraud scams designed to bilk investors out of millions of dollars. Sometimes even billions.

As was the case of one of the world’s most famous Ponzi schemers, Bernie Madoff, who is spending the rest of his life in prison.

Attorney Scott Silver, of the Silver Law Group says:

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Silver Law Group continues to investigate Perry Santillo Jr. (“Santillo”), founder and chief executive of High Point Wealth Management. According to a recent Investment News article, Santillo was barred by Maryland regulators for “dishonest and unethical trade practices,” that included selling unregistered securities by fraudulent means. Santillo allegedly solicited clients from an investment advisory business he acquired last year from its barred owner, Philip Rousseaux. Santillo faces almost $3.5 million in civil penalties and fines. Santillo acquired Everest Investment Advisors after its owner, Mr. Rousseaux, had his registration as an investment adviser revoked in March for deceptive securities sales practices. Mr. Rousseaux previously recruited clients through his popular infomercials featuring “The Money Guys.” Santillo, according to the order barring him, in November began soliciting former Everest clients through e-mails explaining how their transition would work in regards to their investments. He would then advise them to sell securities and transfer assets to a self-directed IRA. He also asked client to sell their annuities in face-to-face meetings. Then, Santillo would recommend the clients invest in unsecured promissory notes that were used to finance his own companies.

SWhat-Keeps-a-Ponzi-Scheme-Running-300x200antillo, Chris Parris and others are accused of running a massive Ponzi scheme and paying former stockbrokers and investment advisors to retire and send their clients to their companies.  Silver Law Group is assisting investors who were encouraged to liquidate retirement accounts and other investments to invest in the First Nationle Ponzi scheme.

Silver Law Group is representing investors in claims against their former advisors who recommended that their clients invest with Santillo, Chris Parris, Nationle or United RL.  Investors allege that their former advisors failed to inform them that their stockbrokers failed to tell them that they had received money for the recommendation or that their financial advisor had failed to conduct reasonable due diligence into Santillo and his partners.

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Following the SEC charging five individuals with fraud related to a Ponzi scheme, Bank of America (“BOA”) has now been sued over its involvement with the First Nationle scheme. The class-action suit on behalf of multiple investors who lost money alleges that BOA provided more than 100 accounts for the individuals to perpetuate their scheme.  Others charged in the scheme include Perry Santillo, Chris Parris, Paul LaRocco, Percipience and United RL.

Ponzi-Schemes2-300x150According to the complaint, the brother and sister that sued to recover losses from their late father’s investment allege that the fraudsters “could not have perpetuated their scheme without the knowing assistance of their primary banking institution, Bank of America, which lent the scheme an air of legitimacy and provided critical support, including at times when the scheme would have otherwise collapsed.”

After promising to invest the monies into profitable and dividend paying companies, they used the funds for lavish personal expenses and to pay “dividends” to other investors. The bank is accused of failing to catch their suspicious activity, which included transfers of large amounts of cash into accounts with small, negative or even non-existent balances, and then transferring the cash out in the same week. The money was transferred to their personal accounts, or to that of some of the investors. This fraud occurred over a period of time beginning in or about 2011. By not alerting authorities or putting a stop to the fraudulent activity, BOA assisted in the perpetuation of the scheme.

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Retirement planning firm owner allegedly paid for lavish living expenses and more with elderly investors’ money

It has happened again. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has uncovered yet another alleged Ponzi scheme targeting the most vulnerable of investors: the elderly. Clifton Stanley of Galveston, Texas is accused of cheating his elderly investors – those in their eighties and nineties – out of $3.8 million dollars in two related scams.

The first alleged scheme: PONZI

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On the heels of a Ponzi scheme that cheated investors out of $102 million, the SEC has charged a former insurance broker with defrauding inexperienced retail investors. James Hocker, aged 48, of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania has been charged with defrauding 25 investors of $1.27 million for non-existent securities. He operated his own insurance agency out of his home, James E. Hocker & Associates, selling insurance and annuities as an unregistered entity.

Hocker’s tactic was different—he sold them insurance first to gain their trust, then offered these customers non-existent “investment securities.” He was licensed to sell insurance and annuities, but not securities.

Promising “guaranteed returns” of 10% to 30%, Hocker told these customers that he would invest their money into the S&P 500 and other unspecified investments. However, the monies he collected were deposited in bank accounts he controlled, and investors were not informed that they were his. Hocker used the money to pay bills, tax liens, and spousal support to his ex-wife. He also spent the monies on restaurants and casinos.

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The SEC has shut down a $102 Million Ponzi Scheme that was defrauding investors in several states. The complaint that was filed in federal district court in Manhattan charges Perry Santillo from Rochester, New York, Christopher Parris from Rochester, New York, Paul LaRocco from Ocala, Florida, John Piccarreto from San Antonio, Texas, and Thomas Brenner from Orville, Ohio. These brokers are said to have defrauded over 600 investors through sales of securities in issuers that they controlled including the following: First Nationle Solution LLC, United RL Capital Services, and Percipience Global Corp. If you or someone you know lost their investment by investing with one of these brokers and/or companies, then it is highly recommended to speak to an attorney in order to assess your potential legal options to recover your investment capital.

The SEC Allegations of Fraud

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What Keeps a Ponzi Scheme Running? on silverlaw.com

You would think that it would be easy to spot a Ponzi scheme when there are so many victims, but the truth is a lot more complicated

Ponzi schemes are fraudulent investment schemes that involve paying fake investment returns with funds contributed by new investors. Organizers of Ponzi schemes often promise investors incredibly high returns with little to no risk, paying them from funds invested by new victims.

One of the most famous Ponzi schemes in history was run by Bernie Madoff, who made $50 billion during a decades-long scheme. Investigators have found evidence that it began in the 1970s, yet charges weren’t brought against Madoff until his arrest in 2008.

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