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Pastor, Partner Must Pay $9M To Settle Fraud Allegations

By: Dean Seal of Law360.com A Florida federal judge on Monday ordered a fund run entirely by a North Carolina man and a convicted pastor-turned-fraudster to pay $9 million to settle claims it duped Florida churchgoers and their associates out of $2 million. The settlement with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission resolves claims against the corporate entity Maverick International Inc., its sole officer Edward Rubin and Wesley A. Brown, the two men accused of soliciting investors into a pooled fund that they then entirely embezzled. U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis ordered $2,151,318.73 in restitution along with $6.8 million in civil monetary penalties. “Upon...

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Indiana woman indicted in ‘largest coordinated sweep’ of elder fraud cases in history

Indiana woman indicted in 'largest coordinated sweep' of elder fraud cases in history

By: Jordan Fischer of TheIndyChannel.com A Morgan County woman was charged in federal court Wednesday as part of what the Department of Justice is calling the “largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history.” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was joined Thursday by state and federal officials to announce charges against more than 250 people around the globe for their alleged roles in fraudulent schemes targeting the elderly. The DOJ said those schemes involved mass mailings, telemarketing and investment frauds to individual instances of identity theft and theft by guardians. The agency also said it had identified “transnational criminal organizations” involved in defrauding “hundreds of thousands...

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New rules look to help elderly fraud victims

New rules look to help elderly fraud victims

By Nick McGill of Fox59.com Advocates for the elderly are calling new rules designed to help protect the elderly from fraud a “step in the right direction.” Starting Monday, brokers can place temporary holds on accounts of elderly clients who may have been victims of financial exploitation, thanks to new rules by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. “If we’re finding ways for these different people in different positions to be able to respond when they have legitimate reasonable concerns, that’s wonderful, because we’re going to have to find ways as a society to help protect those vulnerable elders,” said Ken Bennett with the...

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Judge orders ex-CEO to pay nearly $850K in Veros Ponzi scheme

Judge orders ex-CEO to pay nearly $850K in Veros Ponzi scheme

By Dave Stafford / The Indiana Lawyer A former finance company chief with a history of securities law violations has been ordered to pay almost $850,000 in connection with the sale of securities based on farm loans. Former Pin Financial LLC chief executive Tobin Senefeld of Indianapolis was ordered Tuesday to pay a total of $843,356 in a lawsuit the Securities and Exchange Commission filed against him, his firm and Veros Farm Loan Holding LLC. The SEC said defendants violated securities laws in a Ponzi scheme. Rather than funding current farming operations, as investors were told, proceeds of the securities were used to cover farms’...

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SEC Accuses Accounting Firm Of Fraud Over Microcap Audits

By Jon Hill of Law360.com The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday accused a California-based public accounting firm and a number of its current and former partners of doing flawed audit work for an energy services holding company and two other penny-stock company clients that have themselves been accused of fraud by the agency. The SEC said it has initiated proceedings against Anton & Chia LLP, alleging that some of its conduct in connection with audits and reviews for Premier Holding Corp., Accelera Innovations Inc. and CannaVEST Corp. was fraudulent. Anton & Chia co-owners Gregory A. Wahl and Georgia Chung, its former audit partner...

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Top Investor Threats Revealed

Top investor threats revealed

By The Herald-Tribune Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson has released the annual list of top investor threats and reminded Hoosiers to use caution when approached with any unsolicited investment opportunities. The top threats were determined by surveying members of the North American Securities Administrators Association, of which the Indiana Secretary of State’s office is a member, to identify the most frequently identified source of current investor complaints or investigations. The following were cited most often: Promissory notes– A promissory note is a written promise to pay (or repay) a specified sum of money at a stated time in the future...

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FRAUD: CFTC Sues Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme Operator

CFTC Sues Bitcoin Crytocurrency Ponzi Scheme Operator

By Nicole D. Prysby, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group The price of Bitcoin has soared in recent months, from approximately $900 in January 2017 to a current price of over $15,000. But even before the 2017 increase, Bitcoin had periods where its value rose sharply. For example, in 2013, it went from about $15 to $800. Bitcoin’s short-term gains have made it a very attractive hook for would-be Ponzi scheme developers. In fall 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) sued Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (“GBI”), and GBI’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) for operating a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme that allegedly defrauded...

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Man behind $1M scam gets 7 1/2-year sentence

By Mitchell Kirk – Pharos Tribune (Logansport, Indiana) A former Logansport man received a 7 1/2-year sentence in federal court on Thursday and was ordered to pay back the $985,000 he's accused of fraudulently obtaining. Larry Westby, 65, Vanderbilt, Michigan, was indicted in August 2016 on 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 accused the former Logansport resident of fraudulently obtaining about $985,800 from investors and causing losses to investors of about $903,128. Westby started a company called LMW Inc. he based in Indianapolis with the reported...

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Bitcoin scam? Here are 3 signs a cryptocurrency investment, ICO or altcoin is a fraud

Bitcoin scam? Here are 3 signs a cryptocurrency investment, ICO or altcoin is a fraud

By James Dennin of Mic.com When perpetrating any kind of scam, it helps to move in a space that’s hard for everyday consumers to understand. It’s safe to say digital currencies, which were confusing to begin with and now come in more than a thousand different varieties, offer fertile ground for fraudsters. One recent scam story making the news pertains to the aptly-named Confido, a new cryptocurrency startup that successfully raised more than $300,000 in investment money through an initial coin offering. Then, according to reports in The Next Web and Inc, the company quickly disappeared. Altogether the startup was able to...

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7 Best Practices For Wealth-Managing Fiduciaries

7 Best Practices For Wealth-Managing Fiduciaries

By Stuart Riemer (Law360.com) As the U.S. Department of Labor has tried to issue regulations for financial professionals who give retirement advice, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has previously taken a similar stance for financial advisers under their jurisdiction, the debate over who in the financial services industry should be required to act as a fiduciary has been getting more intense. It’s a contentious issue to be sure, but whether you are charged with managing someone else’s wealth as a trustee, an executor or a financial adviser operating from a fiduciary perspective, having the client’s needs come first is always...

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