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Securities Fraud

Indiana settles with securities firm over agent who ran Ponzi scheme

By: Indianapolis Business Journal Staff and Associated Press The state has reached a $275,000 settlement with NYLife Securities LLC over the activities of an Indiana wealth manager who killed himself in 2013 while being investigated for operating a Ponzi scheme that took millions of dollars from dozens of investors. Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced the settlement Thursday. Former NYLife agent Richard Schwartz operated a Kokomo-based company called RAS & Associates that sold investments totaling $16.3 million to 53 Indiana investors. The state says most of that money was never invested but went to support Schwartz’s “extravagant lifestyle” and an apparent gambling problem. Attorney...

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Oil Futures Trader Gets 10 Years For $1.4M Ponzi Scheme

By Matthew Guarnaccia of Law360.com Texas federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a New York-based oil futures trader to 10 years in prison for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme in relation to his operation commodity pool, which took more than $1.4 million from investors. U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes handed down the 120-month sentence to 33-year-old Christopher Donrick Daley, who was convicted of one count of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud following a two-day jury trial in September. Judge Hughes also ordered Daley to pay $614,950 in restitution. He will serve three years of supervised release after his time in prison. The...

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Securities watchdog bans second broker in alleged Veros Ponzi scheme

By: Jared Council of Indianapolis Business Journal Financial industry regulators have permanently barred a local broker alleged to have participated in a Ponzi scheme. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Tobin Joseph Senefeld of Indianapolis has been disbarred from associating with any FINRA member institution, according to its monthly disciplinary report released last week. The sanction is related to a 2015 civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that claimed Senefeld and two others operated a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme involving farm loans. According to FINRA, Senefeld was banned because he refused to provide on-the-record testimony about the Ponzi scheme allegations. Senefeld,...

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New Albany, Indiana Man Arrested on Multiple Counts of Securities Fraud and Theft

By Lindsey Holmes of tristatehomepage.com A New Albany man is in jail Thursday night after a 13-month investigation revealed he defrauded nearly $535,000 from numerous Dubois County Residents. In October 2015, a complaint was filed with the Indiana Secretary of State, Securities Division after a woman became concerned about the financial investments made on behalf of her mother. A criminal investigation was initiated by the Indiana State Police into the transactions by the woman’s financial advisor, 58 year old Stephen Recker, formerly of Jasper and currently of New Albany. Through the course of the investigation and as a result of the initial complaint, investigators...

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Trader Charged For $9M Ponzi Scheme Not Singled Out: Judge

By Joyce Hanson of Law360.com An Illinois federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss an indictment against a Chicago trader who has been charged with wire fraud for orchestrating an alleged $9 million Ponzi scheme, ruling that he wasn’t singled out for prosecution while other similarly situated violators were let off the hook. U.S. District Court Judge John Z. Lee said Ludiera Capital LLC President Nick Wurl admitted in a government interview that he made false statements to investors and hid trading losses, and his argument saying Fannie Mae executives and ex-Goldman Sachs employee Fabrice Tourre were accused of similar conduct but...

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U.S. Takes Down Call-Center Financial Scam

Officials allege people impersonating IRS, immigration officials extracted more than $250 million from victims By Miriam Jordan of The Wall Street Journal Federal authorities said Thursday they had dismantled a massive call-center scheme perpetrated by individuals in the U.S. and India who bilked thousands of Americans out of hundreds of millions of dollars by posing as Internal Revenue Service and Department of Homeland Security officials. An 81-page indictment names 56 people in the U.S. and India and five call centers in Ahmedabad, India, allegedly involved in the fraud. They were charged in a Texas federal district court in Houston with crimes including impersonation...

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Florida Man Gets 17 Years For Currency Trading Fraud Scheme

A Florida man was sentenced Tuesday in Miami to more than 17 years in federal prison for duping about 300 investors out of millions of dollars through a phony currency trading firm before cashing out and fleeing to Panama. U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz ordered Michael John Alcocer Roa, 34, of Kissimmee, Florida, to serve 210 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. A federal jury convicted Alcocer of five counts of wire fraud following a trial in April over the operation of his company Inovatrade Inc., which he set up in 2008 and ran until 2011,...

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SEC sets record in enforcement actions against investment advisers

Uptick in adviser crackdown attributed to better data analytics and agency's new unit focused on asset management By Mark Schoeff Jr. of InvestmentNews.com The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a record number of enforcement cases against investment advisers and investment companies over the last year, the agency announced Tuesday. The SEC pursued 160 cases against advisers and firms, including 98 that were standalone — as opposed to follow-up actions or cases based on delinquent regulatory filings. Both numbers are records, the SEC said. The enforcement statistics for fiscal 2016 include the period from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30. The SEC also filed a record number of...

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SEC Charges Adviser Over Cherry-Picking Trades

By Carmen Germaine of Law360.com The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday filed an in-house suit alleging a Hawaii-based investment adviser cherry-picked profitable trades for himself instead of clients' accounts and falsely claimed he wouldn't "double dip" on management and advisory fees. The SEC's suit, filed in its administrative forum, alleges Laurence I. Balter and his Kihei, Hawaii-based firm Oracle Investment Research violated securities laws by making trades for both Balter and Oracle clients in one omnibus account, cherry-picking profitable trades for Balter's account and assigning unprofitable transactions to clients. Jina L. Choi, the director of the SEC’s San Francisco regional office,...

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Royal Bank Unit Aided $123M ATM Ponzi Scheme, Suit Says

By Suevon Lee of Law360.com Royal Bank of Canada and a Los Angeles-based banking subsidiary have been sued in California state court for negligence and other claims by dozens of individual investors alleging a bank officer enabled a $123 million Ponzi scheme through an ATM machine leaseback program operated by the in-receivership Nationwide Automated Systems Inc. City National Bank NA, the Southern California bank that merged with RBC in November 2015, is accused in the Friday lawsuit of aiding and abetting through branch manager Brian Patrick Fitzwilliam a long-running scheme that bilked many investors, including senior citizens, of $123 million through the...

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