Even Sophisticated Investors Can Be Duped
If Ball State University could be duped by an unscrupulous investment advisor, any other investor — including you — could also be scammed.
This is perhaps the biggest lesson to be learned from the 2013 case in which Seth Beoku Betts, founder of Betts & Gambles LLC, was sentenced in a Manhattan federal court to four years and three months in prison for defrauding Ball State University out of more than $8 million.
The government said that Betts persuaded the university to give him money to invest in collateralized mortgage obligations. However, Betts directed some of the money to disreputable investment dealers. He spent the rest of the money on himself — buying cars and spending an alleged $1.5 million to purchase a beachfront home in Boynton Beach, Fla.
According to reports, in 2008, Betts approached a former director of investments for the school to solicit the money. Prosecutors claim that Betts engaged in a “four-year saga of delay and deception” when the director of investments inquired about the funds.
Recovering the money is out of the question. It’s all gone, and Betts says he’s a pauper.
If you’ve been cheated by unscrupulous brokers, Scott Starr, an investment fraud attorney at Starr Austen Miller LLP, cautions you not to be too embarrassed to ask for help. “Ball State University would be the most sophisticated investor possible. They have a well-regarded School of Business and hire professionals to assist them in investing their monies. Nevertheless, they fell for an $8 million swindle,” he says.
The team of investment fraud lawyers at Starr Austen & Miller LLP handles cases involving securities arbitration misrepresentation, overconcentration, broker fraud, negligence, broker churning, breach of trust, as well as malpractice.