Please bear in mind the following ponzi scheme stories. Those stories are a lesson for all of us:
SEC Charges Operators of $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme Targeting Main Street Investors. According to the SEC complaint, Woodbridge advertised its primary business as issuing loans to supposed third-party commercial property owners paying Woodbridge 11-15 percent annual interest for “hard money,” short-term financing. In return, Woodbridge allegedly promised to pay investors 5-10 percent interest annually.
The SEC complaint alleges that Shapiro and Woodbridge used investors’ money to pay other investors, and paid $64.5 million in commissions to sales agents who pitched the investments as “low risk” and “conservative.” Shapiro, is alleged to have diverted at least $21 million for his own benefit. According to the complaint, the scheme collapsed in typical Ponzi fashion in early December.
Investment Adviser Charged with Running Ponzi Scheme. The SEC alleges that Stephen C. Peters, through his investment adviser firm VisionQuest Wealth Management, sold promissory notes issued by another one of his companies, VisionQuest Capital, to clients and other prospective investors while making false statements, including that proceeds would be invested into revenue-producing businesses with neither Peters nor his businesses receiving compensation. Peters allegedly claimed that the VisionQuest Capital notes presented little or no risk of loss and were “guaranteed.”
According to the SEC’s complaint, investor funds were not used as Peters claimed. Peters allegedly spent at least $4.4 million on such personal endeavors. Peters also spent at least $4.9 million to make Ponzi payments to earlier investors.
Prosecutors bust multimillion dollar cryptocurrency scam. According to Korean news source Yonhap, Prosecutors said Wednesday they have uncovered a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme, by a cryptocurrency mining agency based South Korea and in the United States, that has incurred huge losses for investors around the world.
The suspects stand accused of pocketing some 250 million USD from 18,000 investors in 54 countries.
The suspects allegedly lured clients into investing in their cryptocurrency mining tools, which produced ethereum, by promising higher returns.
The suspects deceived investors, by manipulating the mining results, to look as if they were digging more Ethereum, using the computer program it developed. Their scam collapsed as they could not make enough returns from cryptocurrency mining.
Prosecutors believe the company spent around 69 million USD to buy the miners, and the rest was used by the management personally or to reward top performers. They suspect the executives have hidden about 93 million USD of the investment in offshore bank accounts.
The Securities Board said that the company claimed to offer steady, daily returns – a structure reminiscent of high-yield investment plans that boast steady gains. Further, the solicitations reportedly encourage prospective investors to find others to buy in so that they can make money from “referrals. By promising such investment plans, the respondents are making offers containing statements that are materially misleading or otherwise likely to device the public.