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Top Investor Threats Revealed

Top investor threats revealed

By The Herald-Tribune Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson has released the annual list of top investor threats and reminded Hoosiers to use caution when approached with any unsolicited investment opportunities. The top threats were determined by surveying members of the North American Securities Administrators Association, of which the Indiana Secretary of State’s office is a member, to identify the most frequently identified source of current investor complaints or investigations. The following were cited most often: Promissory notes– A promissory note is a written promise to pay (or repay) a specified sum of money at a stated time in the future...

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Man behind $1M scam gets 7 1/2-year sentence

By Mitchell Kirk – Pharos Tribune (Logansport, Indiana) A former Logansport man received a 7 1/2-year sentence in federal court on Thursday and was ordered to pay back the $985,000 he's accused of fraudulently obtaining. Larry Westby, 65, Vanderbilt, Michigan, was indicted in August 2016 on charges of mail fraud, money laundering and fraud in the offer and sale of securities. The FBI, IRS and Indiana Secretary of State's office accused the former Logansport resident of fraudulently obtaining about $985,800 from investors and causing losses to investors of about $903,128. Westby started a company called LMW Inc. he based in Indianapolis with the reported...

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7 Best Practices For Wealth-Managing Fiduciaries

7 Best Practices For Wealth-Managing Fiduciaries

By Stuart Riemer (Law360.com) As the U.S. Department of Labor has tried to issue regulations for financial professionals who give retirement advice, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has previously taken a similar stance for financial advisers under their jurisdiction, the debate over who in the financial services industry should be required to act as a fiduciary has been getting more intense. It’s a contentious issue to be sure, but whether you are charged with managing someone else’s wealth as a trustee, an executor or a financial adviser operating from a fiduciary perspective, having the client’s needs come first is always...

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Ex-SEC Chair Warns Of Adviser Exam Shortfall ‘Disaster’

Ex-SEC Chair Warns Of Adviser Exam Shortfall Disaster

By Ed Beeson of Law360.com Former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White on Friday sounded an alarm about the agency’s inability to conduct regular inspections of most registered investment advisers, calling it “a disaster waiting to happen” if the pace can’t be picked up. Speaking at a Practising Law Institute event in New York, White didn’t elaborate on what she meant by disaster, but she said it was one of the things that greatly concerned her during her tenure as Wall Street’s top cop. There are currently about 12,500 advisers registered with the SEC, but the agency’s exam staff are...

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Never Invest in a Company Started or Managed by Your Stockbroker, Insurance Agent, or Investment Advisor

The United States Securities & Exchange Commission recently sued a Colorado investment advisor for fraudulently convincing his clients to invest in a company he started and owned.  The SEC alleges that the investment advisor misrepresented his credentials, the purported safety of the investments he was selling, and his success in creating and operating such companies in the past.  These poor victims violated a cardinal rule of investing:   You should never invest in any company created or managed by your stockbroker, insurance agent, or investment advisor unless and until: You thoroughly check out the so-called “investment opportunity” by having your CPA...

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“Coin Offerings” Can Constitute Securities Sales

Digital "Coin Offerings" Can Constitute Securities Sales

By Evan Weinberger of Law360.com The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday brought some clarity to the market for “initial coin offerings” when it outlined a test for treating the digital “tokens” that are offered in exchange for money or digital currency as securities, but experts say key questions remain about certain types of tokens that defy easy categorization. The SEC released an investigative report into a German group known as The DAO, a so-called decentralized autonomous organization that used blockchain technology to raise about $150 million last year. The report found that the tokens like those used in The DAO’s...

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SEC Settles With Fraudster Over $6M Startup Stock Scheme

SEC Settles With Fraudster Over $6M Startup Stock Scheme

By Jon Hill of Law360.com A New Jersey man struck a deal in New Jersey federal court on Friday to settle the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s claims that he participated in an alleged scheme to pocket more than $6 million investor dollars raised for stock in a technology startup. James R. Trolice, who pled guilty in April to securities fraud and money laundering charges in a related criminal case, agreed to pay disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, interest and a civil monetary penalty in amounts to be determined at a later date, according to the settlement agreement filed by the SEC. Trolice also consented...

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Advisers must protect elderly from financial fraud

Advisers must protect elderly from financial fraud

The elderly are targeted by fraudsters because they often have a pile of savings and a steady stream of income. Older people are also more prone to cognitive decline, physical disability, isolation and loneliness — all of which leave them susceptible to exploitation. More often than not, that exploitation is perpetrated by a close family member....

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