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Securities Fraud

Hedge Fund Manager Cops Guity Plea for Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Hedge Fund Manager Cops Guity Plea for Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Recently a Virginia hedge fund manager pled guilty to a $9 million Ponzi scheme. The case dealt with over 50 clients who invested in the investment manager’s hedge fund where he bragged of earning returns regularly beating the S & P 500. In reality, he both spent his clients’ monies on his living expenses and used the monies to cover losses he generated in trading activities. In typical Ponzi scheme fashion, he used new investor funds to pay off older investors who decided to cash out....

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PNC Bank Asks 6th Circ. To Back $70M Ponzi Suit Dismissal

PNC Bank Asks 6th Circ. To Back $70M Ponzi Suit Dismissal

PNC Bank NA has urged the Sixth Circuit to uphold the dismissal of a proposed class action brought by investors in an Ohio couple’s alleged $70 million Ponzi scheme, arguing the lower court was correct to toss the suit because the investors never claimed the bank did anything more to participate in the scheme than provide the couple with normal banking services....

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Jury Awards $15 Million in Punitive Damages Against MetLife for Ponzi Scheme Involvement

Last year MetLife and one of its subsidiaries were assessed $15 million in punitive damages by a jury for its failure to discover one of its agents was selling unregistered securities along with life insurance policies. The unregistered securities were actually promissory notes which were allegedly invested in a $200 million Ponzi scheme. The plaintiff, Christine Ramirez, claimed that MetLife’s subsidiary New England Life Insurance Company had an agent who was selling her these unregistered securities at the same time he was selling her life insurance. ...

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What is the “Fraud-on-the-Market” Doctrine of Securities Fraud?

In the United States Supreme Court case of Basic, Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988), the Court ruled that in certain circumstances a securities class action would be appropriate notwithstanding what otherwise would be individualized issues of reliance.  Basic created the Fraud-on-the-Market Doctrine. The Fraud-on-the-Market Doctrine pertains to the reliance element of the federal section 10(b) claim.  Because 10(b) claims require reliance, courts historically had found class wide treatment was inappropriate in Section 10(b) claims because individualized reliance issues would predominate, precluding class certification under Federal Rule 23(b)(3).  In Basic, the United States Supreme Court created a solution to this...

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SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Identifies Frequent Advisor and Brokerage Firm Shortcomings

Starr Austen & Miller has represented over a thousand victims of either investment advisor negligence or stockbroker fraud.  In almost every case the guilty advisor or broker failed to comply with his firm’s own compliance manual.  Typically, such conduct has been ongoing for years and the brokerage firm has chosen to pay lip service to its compliance rules and procedures by not truly watching its broker with sufficient care or otherwise properly supervising the broker’s bad conduct.  In essence, the compliance manual becomes a worthless piece of paper the brokerage firm shows the regulators in an effort to show that...

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