SEC Alleges Decades-Long Ponzi Scheme
Over 400 Mostly Elderly Investors Were Victims
Emergency Action Shuts Down Alleged Scheme
Financial elder abuse can be abuse of a particular senior citizen or can be part of a scheme that targets multiple senior citizens for risky or inappropriate investments, or unsuitable insurance products like certain types of life insurance or deferred annuities. Or the abuse can be a largescale Ponzi scheme, where fraudsters use money collected 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 violate securities laws and, when the victims are seniors, also constitute financial elder abuse. See Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30. 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 San Francisco 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).
Recent SEC Accusations Of Ponzi Scheme
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently charged an individual with running a decades-long Ponzi scheme that allegedly swindled $110 million from over 400 investors, most of whom were senior citizens. The SEC filed an emergency action to stop the operation. According to the SEC complaint, the defendant told elderly client they would receive guaranteed returns of 6-7% for two to three years if they invested in an investment fund he ran. The SEC alleges that the fund was merely an entity defendant used for the sole purpose of raising money from investors to fuel a Ponzi scheme. According to the SEC, the value of the offered fund was far too small for there “to be any realistic prospect that the Ponzi scheme will be able to pay back existing investors their principal, let alone the promised returns.” The defendant has been enjoined from offering the fund to any other investors and the assets of the fund have been frozen pending further investigation.
Signs Of Ponzi Schemes
If you are a senior, before investing in any new venture, check for classic warning signs of a Ponzi scheme:
- Promises of High Returns with Little or No Risk. As the reported case illustrates, guaranteed high investment returns are a hallmark of Ponzi schemes. 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.
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 San Francisco or elsewhere in California contact Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.