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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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How criminals steal $37 billion a year from America’s elderly

How criminals steal $37 billion a year from America's elderly

By Bloomberg News Marjorie Jones trusted the man who called to tell her she'd won a sweepstakes prize, saying she could collect the winnings once she paid the taxes and fees. After she wired the first payment, he and other callers kept adding conditions to convince her to send more money. As the scheme progressed, Ms. Jones, who was legally blind and lived alone in a two-story house in Moss Bluff, La., depleted her savings, took out a reverse mortgage and cashed in a life insurance policy. She didn't tell her family, not even the sister who lived next door. Scammers often push...

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Beware of Annuity Exchanges!

Beware of Annuity Exchanges

by Scott Starr Annuities are some of the highest commission products available for an insurance agent or a stockbroker to sell.  Many times, annuities are more beneficial for the salesman than they are for the client.  That is because in addition to the hefty commissions the stockbroker or insurance agent earns for selling these investments, the annuities themselves frequently have very high expense ratios which come off the top before an owner receives any benefit.  Furthermore, annuities are typically extremely illiquid meaning that they are very difficult to get out of or cash in without paying a hefty penalty.  Because of...

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Stock Fraudsters Prey on the Retired

Starr Austen & Miller has represented over 1,400 investors who have lost their hard earned savings to bad brokers and investment fraud.  Almost always the victim is an elderly person or someone nearing retirement who is defrauded of all or nearly all of their retirement savings. The following story is a reprint from Law360.com, an article authored by Hayley Fowler, that summarizes a similar case. Bad stock brokers and bad investment advisors will quote high returns while touting the “safety” of the investment they are pushing.  This pitch is especially attractive to retired folks who are worried about stretching their retirement earnings...

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10th Circ. Sides With DOL In Row Over New Fiduciary Rule

By Dave Simpson of Law360.com A Tenth Circuit panel Tuesday affirmed a decision upholding the U.S. Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule for retirement account advisers related to fixed indexed annuity sales, agreeing with the lower court that the rule’s critics were given an opportunity to comment on it. The panel agreed with a Kansas federal judge's opinion that the DOL didn't overstep its authority in enacting the rule, which aims to combat conflicts of interest for financial advisers. (Law360) In a unanimous published decision penned by U.S. Circuit Judge Paul Joseph Kelly Jr., the panel agreed with a Kansas federal judge’s opinion that the...

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Adviser admits defrauding former [Indianapolis] Colt of $4.7M

“Anyone can be the victim of securities fraud. See the Indianapolis Business Journal article below. If you or a loved one has been victimized by a bad broker or bad investment advisor, contact Starr Austen & Miller for a free consultation.” - Scott Starr By: Greg Andrews of the Indianapolis Business Journal Cory Redding, a defensive end for the Colts from 2012 to 2014, was referred to financial adviser Kenneth Ray Cleveland by a business professor at Redding’s alma mater, the University of Texas. (AP photo) It might be little consolation to former Indianapolis Colt Cory Redding—the latest in a long line of...

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