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Indiana Secretary of State Fines LPL Financial (Linsco Private Ledger) $450,000 for Failing to Supervise Its Indiana Brokers

Indiana Secretary of State Fines LPL Financial (Linsco Private Ledger) $450,000 for Failing to Supervise Its Indiana Brokers

Written by Scott L. Starr December 3, 2018 The securities industry is designed so that the first line of defense against fraud is the requirement that a brokerage firm must police its own brokers. A principal rule in the securities industry is that brokerage firms are required to supervise each of its broker’s offices. LPL Financial has recently agreed to pay a civil penalty of $450,000 for “various deficiencies” related to the supervision of its Indiana brokers, the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office recently reported.  In addition to the payment of this civil penalty, Linsco Private Ledger agreed to conduct a third party...

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Recent Lawsuit Claims Chicago Cleric Steered $35 Million into his Ponzi Scheme

Recent Lawsuit Claims Chicago Cleric Steered $35 Million into his Ponzi Scheme

The following is an article authored by Law360’s David Matthews describing how a Chicago rabbi allegedly abused his trust with the Chicago Jewish community by convincing his followers to invest over $35 million into a Ponzi scheme. The facts as described by the following article contain the hallmarks of a typical Ponzi scheme.  These are: A person in a position of trust, such an accountant, cleric, preacher, insurance salesman, or an investment advisor; Abusing his trust by convincing his followers to invest their hard earned retirement savings; By promising big returns with little or no risk; The Ponzi schemer steals...

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Investment Adviser Gets 6.5 Years For $1.6M Ponzi Scheme

By John Petrick of Law360.com A federal judge on Monday sentenced a New Jersey man who pled guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that bilked $1.6 million from his clients to support his luxury lifestyle to six and a half years in prison. In addition to the prison time, U.S. District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert in Pennsylvania also ordered defendant Carl Frederic Sealey to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution to the victims of his scheme, federal officials said. About 21 people invested more than $1.6 million with Sealey's investment firms Global Standard Industries and SEK Industries and lost $1.5...

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Asset Management Firm CEO Charged With $16M Fraud

Attached below is a copy of an article recently reported by Rachel Graf and Law360 entitled “Asset Management Firm CEO Charged With $16M Fraud”. This article defines a pattern of conduct that is occurring everywhere. Scott Starr of Starr Austen & Miller within the last five years has represented over 100 victims of similar schemes, wherein a life insurance salesman, a stockbroker, or an investment advisor convinces his clients to purchase promissory notes, LLC membership interests, stocks, or such similar investments for the purported purpose of “investing in real estate” promising high returns, typically in the 10% range. In reality,...

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SEC Charges Indiana Investment Advisor With Securities Fraud

SEC Charges Indiana Investment Advisor With Securities Fraud

September 18, 2018 The Securities Exchange Commission recently charged a former middle school math teacher now working as an investment advisor, Tammie Steele, with securities fraud.  Steele sold securities through Pendleton-based Steele Financial Inc., 131 N. Pendleton Avenue, which she founded in 2000.  Steele allegedly defrauded a significant number of her clients by causing them to invest in a Houston, Texas based software firm called BRS.  The SEC complaint charges that Steele convinced her clients to purchase the extremely risky BRS investments while failing to tell her clients that she was incentivized to push these risky investments by the huge commissions...

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Secretary Of State Connie Lawson Reminds Investors And Offerors To Use Caution With Cryptocurrency Investments

Secretary Of State Connie Lawson Reminds Investors And Offerors To Use Caution With Cryptocurrency Investments

By: www.wbiw.com Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson is again reminding Hoosiers to be cautious about investments involving Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency-related investment products. She is also reminding those who seek to sell these products to be aware of the laws pertaining to these investments. "While not every ICO or cryptocurrency-related investment is a fraud, it is important for individuals and firms selling these products to be mindful that they are not doing so in a vacuum; Indiana laws or regulations may apply, especially securities laws. Sponsors of these products should seek the advice of knowledgeable legal counsel to ensure they...

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SEC issues warning about self-directed IRA fraud

SEC issues warning about self-directed IRA fraud

by ConsumerAffairs.com As hand-wringing over dwindling pension trust funds and economic security continues to grow, many people are looking for ways to pump up their nest eggs. One investment angle that many consumers are working are self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is raising red flags about the risk vs. reward of that and other investment paths. A self-directed IRA is an IRA held by a custodian that allows investment in a broader set of assets than permitted by most IRA custodians. There’s a danger zone in that scheme because custodians for self-directed IRAs can abandon most...

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Failing Calif. Leasing Co. An $80M Ponzi Scheme, SEC Says

Failing Calif. Leasing Co. An $80M Ponzi Scheme, SEC Says

Introduction by attorney Scott Starr: Below is a reprint from Law 360 detailing yet another huge Ponzi scheme, this one occurring in California.  You will see from the below article that is alleged by the Securities and Exchange Commission that Ralph Iannelli, the president and founder of Essex Capital Corp., raised approximately 80 million dollars from investors in return for promissory notes, while falsely portraying his business as successful. The Essex Capital Corp. business purportedly was engaged in leasing assets to businesses, and then reporting back to their investors that they were very successful, instead of accurately reporting that the owners...

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SEC Sues Retail Investment Adviser Over $8M Ponzi Scheme

SEC Sues Retail Investment Adviser Over $8M Ponzi Scheme

Yet Another Ponzi Scheme Real Estate Development Scam By Scott Starr Law 360’s Dean Seal recently reported on yet another Ponzi scheme real estate development scam.  The article follows.  The scam described below is identical to two cases handled by Starr Austen & Miller within the last seven years, although unfortunately the cases we handled dealt with losses much larger than the $7 million referenced below.  If you or a loved one invested your hard earned money with an insurance agent, stock broker, or registered investment advisor for the purpose of purchasing real estate, and you are not getting all of your...

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Yet Another Classic Ponzi Scheme

By Scott Starr Attached below is an article that recently appeared on Law360.com, authored by Dean Seal, which describes another classic Ponzi scheme in a small Tennessee town of approximately 5,000 residents, Sparta, Tennessee. The Ponzi schemer scammed his friends, relatives, and fellow citizens out of $43 million. I would recommend that you read this short article carefully as it represents the classic hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme. Starr Austen & Miller has represented hundreds of victims of Ponzi schemers, just like the scam described in the article below. Ponzi schemers always follow the same basic format: They hold respected positions of...

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