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Securities Fraud

ADM Accused in Trial of Directing Grain Sales Ponzi Scheme

By Bloomberg News A Missouri grain dealer who stole tens of millions of dollars from farmers may turn out to be their best ally as they try to recoup losses from corn giant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. ADM began trial Tuesday in St. Louis with farmers claiming the woman couldn’t have ripped them off without help from the world’s biggest corn processor. From behind bars, where she is serving a nine-years sentence, the dealer’s testimony is set to bolster the farmers’ effort to get back more than just the mere fraction of their losses they’ve recovered from her. An unfavorable verdict for ADM could taint...

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Texas Oil Co. Owner Arrested For Running Ponzi Scheme

By Daniel Siegal of Law360.com The Texas-based proprietor of an oil and gas exploration company has been arrested by federal authorities on charges of mail fraud for luring investors to sink $2.6 million into an oil and gas investment program that was actually a Ponzi scheme, authorities announced Friday. James VanBlaricum of Colleyville, Texas, was arrested on Wednesday by U.S. Postal Inspectors on a federal criminal complaint charging him with mail fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday. The 77-year-old VanBlaricum is accused of using his Signal Oil and Gas Co., incorporated in 2000, as a fraudulent investment scheme, offering an investment...

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Attorney: Locals Invested $750K in Reported Scam

More than 20 shareholders from Cass, Pulaski spark local lawyer’s investigation PharosTribune.com By Mitchell Kirk More than 20 people from Cass and Pulaski counties contributed about $750,000 to a former Logansport man facing federal charges of defrauding investors, according to a local attorney. Larry Westby, 64, Vanderbilt, Michigan, faces 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 accuse the former Logansport resident of scamming investors out of more than $985,000. Westby started a company called LMW Inc. he based in Indianapolis with the reported objective of selling respiratory...

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Former Eagle player defrauds football coaches, others out of $6 million

SEC complaint alleges Merrill Robertson Jr. and partner promised 20% and took client funds InvestmentNews.com By Liz Skinner Former Philadelphia Eagle Merrill Robertson Jr. defrauded his former coaches and other investors out of about $6 million, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a complaint filed on Wednesday. Mr. Robertson, Sherman Vaughn Jr., and the company they owned together called Cavalier Union Investments, raised more than $10 million from investors who were told their money would go towards diversified holdings, the complaint filed in federal court in Richmond, Va., said. However, nearly $6 million was used to pay for personal expenses of Mr. Robertson and...

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Two Chattanooga brokers investigated for securities fraud

A release from the TDCI says James Hugh Brennan III and Douglas Albert Dyer, co-owners operating Chattanooga-based Broad Street Ventures, LLC., allegedly raised more than $5 million from investors without using the money as promised. By WTVC – newschannel9.com Two former brokers with disciplinary histories from Chattanooga are under investigation for securities fraud by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the FBI. The investigation, started by the TDCI, ultimately led to a recent court-ordered asset freeze in order to stop the fraud. A release from the TDCI says James Hugh Brennan III and Douglas Albert...

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JPMorgan Settlement With Indiana Draws Interest of Other States

by Neil Weinberg, Bloomberg.com JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reached a settlement with Indiana regulators related to its asset management business, and now other states are expressing interest in how Indiana built its case. JPMorgan agreed on July 28 to pay $950,000 to settle claims by the Indiana secretary of state that the bank failed to disclose conflicts of interest to wealthy clients. Andrew Lang, a spokesman for Secretary of State Connie Lawson, said the settlement prompted officials from other states to ask how Indiana had pursued its claim. He wouldn’t identify the states. “Investors have the right to know all the facts...

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$21 Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme Exposed

Patrick E. Churchville, a Rhode Island investment adviser has pleaded guilty to running a massive $21 million ponzi scheme. Churchville used approximately $2.5 million of investor funds to purchase a home in Barrington, Rhode Island. Since the purchase of the home, he has failed to pay almost $1 million in personal federal income taxes, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Churchville will plead guilty to one count of tax fraud and five counts of wire fraud, according to the statement. He is also a defendant in a civil case brought forth by the SEC in May 2015. Ponzi Scheme...

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Finra Bans Turner for Misrepresentation

Winston Wade Turner was banned by Finra for making unsuitable variable annuity recommendations while working for MetLife and Prudential Financial. It was revealed that Turner deceived his clients by neglecting specific material facts about their current variable annuities. In some cases, Turner suggested to his clients they sell their other investments in order to fund the purchase of variable annuities he recommended. It is a known fact that exchanging any annuity should be highly monitored, due to their relatively high commissions. In August of 2015, Turner was terminated by Prudential for his deceptive sales practices. In the July 8 Finra document...

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Bill Passed to Help Protect Elder’s Against Financial Abuse

Legislation was finally approved by the House of Representatives to help protect advisers from liability when attempting to stop the exploit of senior citizens. The document ensures advisers who report the abuse to the appropriate regulators or law enforcement, will not held liable for violation of privacy laws. In addition, the bill addresses specified training for advisers to undergo which will help them identify elder financial abuse. The vote on the house floor came shortly after the unanimous approval last month in the House Financial Services Committee. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, wrote the legislation and urged state securities regulators to support...

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Banned Broker Ordered to Pay $4 Million Penalty

The SEC has banned Dawn J. Bennett, founder of Bennett Financial Group in Washington, DC, for using false performance documents to obtain wealthy clients. She is ordered to pay more than $4 million in fines and disgorgement. A civil penalty of $600,000 and a $2.9 million fine were handed down by Administrative Law Judge James Grimes. Morvillo LLP, the attorneys who represent Ms. Bennett stated she has no comment at this time regarding the ruling. Morvillo LLP has 21 days to appeal Grimes’s 48 page ruling. Bennett refused to attend this function as part of “unorthodox legal strategy.” The ruling focused...

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