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

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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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Never Invest in a Company Started or Managed by Your Stockbroker, Insurance Agent, or Investment Advisor

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The United States Securities & Exchange Commission recently sued a Colorado investment advisor for fraudulently convincing his clients to invest in a company he started and owned.  The SEC alleges that the investment advisor misrepresented his credentials, the purported safety of the investments he was selling, and his success in creating and operating such companies in the past.  These poor victims violated a cardinal rule of investing:   You should never invest in any company created or managed by your stockbroker, insurance agent, or investment advisor unless and until: You thoroughly check out the so-called “investment opportunity” by having your CPA...

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Advisers must protect elderly from financial fraud

Advisers must protect elderly from financial fraud

The elderly are targeted by fraudsters because they often have a pile of savings and a steady stream of income. Older people are also more prone to cognitive decline, physical disability, isolation and loneliness — all of which leave them susceptible to exploitation. More often than not, that exploitation is perpetrated by a close family member....

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U.S. Attorney announces that the Southern District of Indiana has collected 7.7 million dollars in criminal and civil actions in 2016

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U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler recently announced that his federal office collected for the Southern District of Indiana (from Indianapolis to the Kentucky border) a total of $7,707,955 in criminal and civil actions in fiscal year 2016.  Securities fraud attorney, Scott Starr, had this to say about the announcement: “This demonstrates that even in good markets, securities fraud continues.  Bad stockbrokers and financial advisors will always be with us taking advantage of the elderly and victimizing their clients to satisfy their own greed.”  The law firm of Starr Austen & Miller has been representing the victims of securities fraud since 1982.  The...

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Whistleblower Tips, Recoveries on the Rise

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By Michael Petro -- Buffalo Law Journal Statutory enactments by federal financial regulatory and various state enforcement agencies have made it easier, safer and financially enticing for employees and former employees to report corporate wrongdoing. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee, whistleblower tips have been on the increase over the past few years as legislation has provided whistleblowers incentives to report fraud to the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission and give protection against retaliation and disclosure of their identities. The SEC, using the whistleblower program developed after the recession in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank Act, has...

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State regulators reveal top enforcement targets and the price they pay

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Agencies brought more cases against registered advisers than unregistered entities, and certain products featured in many of them By Mark Schoeff Jr. of investmentnews.com For the first time since they've been keeping enforcement statistics, state regulators last year brought more cases against registered financial advisers than against unregistered entities. In its 2015 enforcement report, the North American Securities Administrators Association said 812 registered advisers were named as respondents in cases, compared to 791 unregistered individuals and firms. Overall, state regulators opened 4,487 investigations last year and took 2,074 enforcement actions, according to the report, which was released at the NASAA annual conference in...

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Finra fines UBS $250,000 for overcharging mutual-fund customers

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The firm allegedly failed to provide about 2,700 customers waivers tied to upfront sale charges InvestmentNews.com By Christine Idzelis A unit of UBS Group AG will pay a $250,000 fine to settle charges that it failed to waive certain fees for eligible mutual-fund customers, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. The brokerage firm charged customers an excess of $277,636 to invest in mutual funds from September 2009 to June 2013, according to a settlement notice that Finra accepted Monday. The alleged supervisory failures were tied to so-called reinstatement rights that allow investors to avoid front-end sales charges. “We are pleased to have resolved...

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