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Securities Fraud

Charlestown, Indiana man pleads guilty in securities fraud case

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Richard Collins ordered to pay $250,000, sentenced to prison By Elizabeth Depompei of newsandtribune.com A Charlestown man was ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution after pleading guilty in a securities fraud case Monday. Richard Collins was president of R.C. Vision Quest in Jeffersonville, where he reportedly sold unregistered securities without being licensed to do so, a violation of the Indiana Uniform Securities Act. According to a July news release from the Indiana Secretary of State, Collins made cold calls to investors in North Carolina and Virginia and promised them high returns for investing. Collins reportedly advertised his business as being religion-based and all of...

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Indiana awards whistleblower $95K with more whistleblowers likely in financial advice sector

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Earlier this month, Indiana announced its first whistleblower award, giving $95,000 to a former JP Morgan official who helped the state's regulators make an advice-related case against the firm that resulted in a $950,000 settlement. The informant showed how the firm failed to make proper disclosures to clients about proprietary funds in discretionary accounts. The whistleblower exposed JP Morgan for putting its interests before its clients. Federal and state securities regulators are relying more on firm insiders to uncover wrongdoing. As a result, the investment advice sector may find itself more vulnerable to whistleblowing. The Securities and Exchange Commission has been awarding...

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Day Traders Think They Can Win in Online Ponzi Schemes

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Software makers and speculators help to keep $47 million a year flowing through a world of fraudulent investment schemes. By Eduardo Thomson and Janan Hanna of Bloomberg.com It’s the financial equivalent of a game of chicken: Put money into a likely Ponzi scheme, get paid for a while, and then try to get out before the collapse. That’s how some people seem to be using online “high-yield investment programs,” or HYIPs. The sites promise ludicrous returns—the equivalent of 1,000 percent or more annually—based on vague investment plans involving, say, bitcoin or currency trading. In reality, many are just passing money from new investors...

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ADM Accused in Trial of Directing Grain Sales Ponzi Scheme

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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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Attorney: Locals Invested $750K in Reported Scam

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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

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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

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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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