Category: Fraud

Hoodoo Spells Fails to Ward Off the Feds

According to the SEC Complaint and Criminal Complaint, Dawn Bennett lived the life a classic ponzi schemer who got in over her head and continued to lie and cheat, perhaps hoping to find a way out. The story caught my attention for two reasons. The first was the implication that Ms. Bennett used a voodoo

The One With A Cascade of Bad Choices

Rusty Tweed may have been trying to make good investments for his clients. He knew a guy that had a new quantitative trading strategy for blue chip stocks. Rusty raised money form his clients to invest with the quant manager. Problems started right at the beginning, according the complaints filed by FINRA and the Securities

The First Every Cryptocurrency Back By Real Estate

The First Every Cryptocurrency Back By Real Estate, REcoin, is a big scam. At least according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Several weeks ago the SEC posted an Investor Bulletin in Initial Coin Offerings. In the bulletin, the SEC raised the issue that an initial coin offering could easily be considered an offering of

By No One’s Math Is 50 Percent a Vast Majority

There is no place for hyperbole or fudging numbers in disclosure of investment returns. The Boston office of the Securities and Exchange Commission made that point with Aegerion Pharmaceuticals in its enforcement case. According to the SEC complaint, Aegerion’s CEO said that the “vast majority of patients” who were given prescriptions for one of its drugs were

The One with The Fake Ron Stenson

Some of the things that catches my attention with frauds and Ponzi schemes are the steps that the fraudsters will take to cover up the fraud and how they think they will escape from the fraud unscathed. The recent charges against Jeremy Drake caught my attention because of the steps he took. The Securities and Exchange

The One With The Fake Cancer Detection

The product sounds great: “The Gold Standard to monitor metastic breast cancer. Our Serum-2 test provides a more accurate representation of HER-2 status, facilitating more appropriate treatment strategies.” NanoMolecularDX is “executing a commercialization strategy” for this test and others.  In July is closed on $1 million of seed funding. I’m an advocate for cancer research and

The One With The Floundering Hedge Fund

I’m a local homer, so fraud cases in Massachusetts catch my attention, especially when they involve private funds. The case of the floundering hedge fund, MC2 Capital, founded by Yasuna Murakami, is the usual example of greed and failure to acknowledge one’s mistakes. Mr. Murakami had big dreams and in the glory days of 2007 thought

The One With The Options Pricing Theft

Some financial fraud is easy to spot. Some is hard to spot. Some I barely understand. Kevin Amell was very clever in hiding his alleged fraud and I’m not sure I understand exactly how he pulled it off. Mr. Amell was a fund manager at Eaton Vance for its Risk-Managed Diversified Equity Income Fund. The

Slapping Down Investment Research Website

The Securities and Exchange Commission took the “extreme step” of warning consumers that articles on the internet may not be objective and independent. They sent up a warning signal to deceptive promoters by announcing enforcement actions against 27 individuals and entities behind various alleged stock promotion schemes that left investors with the impression they were reading independent,

The One About The Defrauding Pastor

When you run across someone trying to get you to invest risk-free with a high annual return, you know you have run into a fraudster. Unless god is on the side of the investment, there is no such thing as a high-rate, risk-free return. Apparently, Larry Holley, the pastor of Abundant Life Ministries in Flint, Mich.,