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Aug 8, 2021 by |

Marin County Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys: Arrest In An Alleged $12 Million Ponzi Scheme Against Older Investors

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Federal Grand Jury Returns 11-Count Indictment

Elderly Investors Allegedly Gave Suspect $12 Million To Invest

Money Allegedly Spent On Suspect’s Lavish Lifestyle

Financial elder abuse by financial advisors, brokers, investment promoters and others ranges from one-off fraud against individual seniors to fraudulent schemes that target seniors as a whole.  One such fraudulent scheme targeting multiple investors at a time is a so-called Ponzi scheme.  In a Ponzi scheme, fraudsters use money they collect from new investors to pay existing investors. What appears to be a return on your investment is actually money from another investor who has been swindled.  These schemes often target the elderly.  Evans Law Firm, Inc. can represent you if you lose money in a Ponzi scheme or as the result of annuity fraud, insider trading, securities misrepresentations or nondisclosures, accounting fraud or any other type of securities fraud or financial elder abuse here in Marin or elsewhere in California.  If you have, call our lawyers today at (415)441-8669.  Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Federal Grand Jury Returns Charges[1] 

A federal grand jury recently returned an 11-count indictment that alleges a Southern California man stole approximately $12 million from victims who were promised their money would be used to purchase annuities from Swiss insurance companies.  The individual was charged with five counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering, and is being held without bond.  According to the indictment filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California, defendant ran the scheme from at least 2012 through last summer, soliciting money from people who wanted to purchase annuities from insurance companies based in Switzerland. Defendant allegedly claimed the Swiss annuities he offered were safe and secure, and, in some instances, he allegedly told victims the annuities would pay interest rates ranging from 5 to 7 percent.  But, the indictment alleges, defendant did not use the victims’ money to purchase annuities, even though he arranged for the victims to receive statements showing the purported value of the annuities, which the false documents showed were increasing over time.  His victims were mostly seniors who gave him more than $12 million, with most of that money coming from just one victim, according to court documents. Some money was paid back to victims to keep the scheme running.  Instead of purchasing annuities, defendant allegedly used the victims’ money for his own purposes and to support his lavish lifestyle. Court documents indicate that he used the money for, among other things, Ponzi payments to victims, mortgage payments, luxury car leases, expensive watches, trips to Monaco, more than $100,000 in purchases at a nightclub, and 20 tickets to a U2 concert and after-party.An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Defendant is scheduled to be arraigned in this case on July 9..

Spotting A Ponzi Scheme 

Before investing in any new venture, check for classic warning signs of a Ponzi scheme:

  • Promises of High Returns with Little or No Risk. Guaranteed high investment returns are the hallmark of a Ponzi scheme. Every investment has risk, and the potential for high returns usually comes with high risk. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Unlicensed and Unregistered Sellers. Most Ponzi schemes involve individuals or firms that are not licensed or registered. Even if an investment professional comes across as likeable or trustworthy, use the free search tool on gov to check whether the person is licensed and registered. Also do a broker check at BrokerCheck – Find a broker, investment or financial advisor (finra.org).
  • Overly Consistent Returns. Investment values tend to fluctuate over time. Be skeptical of an investment that generates steady positive returns regardless of market conditions. That was one of the hallmarks of Bernie’s Madoff’s huge Ponzi scheme.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Ponzi scheme or other form of financial elder abuse by an insurance agent, stock broker, investment advisor, promoter or other person here in Marin County or elsewhere in California contact Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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