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When Fundraising Becomes More Lucrative Than Running the Business

Erick Mathe had a vision of creating a media empire. Well, maybe not an empire, more of a small keep. His plan was to broadcast over Low Power Television Service. Those are locally-oriented television broadcasts in small communities. Mr. Mathe had a line up of streaming music and infomercials. He just needed capital to get […]

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Not Securities Fraud By Reason of Insanity

Some investment fraud schemes sound crazy, but leave just a enough truthful-sounding bits to catch people. But Thomas Lawler’s scheme sounds completely bonkers. He established the Freedom Foundation to offer investors the chance to erase their debts and collect lucrative profits through the purchase of “administrative remedies”. Never heard of profit-making “administrative remedies”? Lawler can […]

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The SEC is Late to a Real Estate Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged M. “Shi” Shailendra with making false representations to investors, misappropriating money, and acting as an unregistered broker. Shailendra was selling interests in his Interstate North 5 Acres fund known as Shi Six. He was purportedly using the money to acquire distressed real estate. Instead, he was pocketing most of […]

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How Do You Exit a Ponzi Scheme?

It looks like Bernie Madoff was $45 billion short of funds in his “investment strategy.” How was he ever going to get out of this? The original Ponzi schemer, Charles Ponzi, seems to think he could get out of his situation, at least according to Mitchell Zukoff, author of Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of […]

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Lawyers and Prime Bank Investments

If someone approaches you about investing in a Prime Bank investment program, walk away. Do not give them your time or money. It’s a scam. The Securities and Exchange Commission shut down another one of these scams. Unfortunately, the investors lost at least $1.2 million before the SEC could step in. According to the complaint, […]

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The Fall of Fredrick Douglas Scott

Fredrick Douglas Scott was named one of Ebony magazine’s “Top 30 under 30″, claiming to be the youngest African-American to found a hedge fund. In April 23, 2012, his company, ACI Capital Group, filed a Form ADV showing $3.7 billion in assets under management. It was a lie and Mr. Scott is a thief. Perhaps […]

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There Is No Secret International Market for Prime Bank Investments

If someone approaches you about investing in a Prime Bank investment program, walk away. Do not give them your time or money. It’s a scam. There is an undercurrent of distrust in the financial markets, thinking that the big players have some secret way to make massive amounts of money with no risk. What better […]

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The Fall of Sam Israel

Sam Israel is a scumbag. He is a liar and a cheat. He admits so in Octopus by Guy Lawson. Israel was the nefarious trader behind the Bayou Funds, one of biggest hedge fund ponzi schemes, at least until Bernie Madoff finally fell to Earth. Lawson met with Israel while Israel was in prison. He […]

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Buckets of Money

Radio personality Raymond J. Lucia, Sr. got in trouble with the SEC. An administrative law judge made it official and issued an initial decision in the case. Lucia will barred from associating with any investment adviser, broker or dealer, the investment adviser registrations for him and his firm are revoked, and is stuck with a […]

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Failing to Disclose a Lack of Control

Whenever I think of oil and gas syndications, I think of Dallas and J.R. Ewing. You can get screwed over in the wiggle of one of Larry Hagman’s luxurious eyebrows. The SEC’s complaint against Infinity Exploration for securities fraud in connection with oil and gas wells still caught my attention. The first question is whether […]

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