Top 10 Ponzi schemes of 2013

ponzi schemesAccording to the  data of Securities Exchange Commission on Ponzi schemes, US investors have lost nearly $441 Million against $1488 million in 2012 to Ponzi schemes in USA. Here are the top 8 ponzi schemes according to the amount quantified by Securities Exchange Commission website. The losses have reduced as compared to the losses in the year 2012.

Name of Ponzi Player Loss in Million Dollars Summary of the Scheme Destination
Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas 300 Five former executives were charged with defrauding investors into believing they were funding the development of five-star destination resorts in Florida and Las Vegas when they were actually buying into a $300 million Ponzi scheme. Florida
Trendon T. Shavers 60 Trendon and his company Bitcoin Savings and Trust {BTCST} were charged with defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme involving Bitcoin Texas
Walter Ng, Kelly Ng, and Bruce Horwitz 39 Bay Area real estate fund managers were charged with operating a Ponzi-like scheme in which they solicited and secretly used assets of a new real estate fund to make payouts to investors in an older, rapidly collapsing fund. Bay Area
Mark Morrow and Detroit Memorial Partners 23 Mark and his company issued approximately $19 million in fraudulent promissory notes and selling $4.5 million in equity interests through an investment advisory company that operated as a massive Ponzi scheme. Cincinati
Duncan MacDonald and Gloria Solomon 10 Duncan and Gloria, two executives at a medical insurance company were charged with operating a $10 million Ponzi scheme that victimized at least 80 investors by falsely promoting their start-up venture as a thriving business. Dallas
John K. Marcum – 6 John Marcum falsely touted himself as a successful trader and asset manager to raise more than $6 million from investors. He squandered the money on personal luxuries and other ventures such as a reality TV show, and continued soliciting money from new investors to pay earlier investors’ redemption requests. Indiana
Alvin R. Brown and First Choice Investment 3 The scheme was shut down that targeted seniors, including an elderly investor suffering from a stroke and dementia, by falsely promising high profits from commercial and residential rental properties in California and other Western states. California

Author: Mayur Joshi

Top ten Ponzi schemes of 2012

According to the SEC data on Ponzi scheme revelations, US investors have lost nearly $1488 Million to some of the biggest ponzi schemes in USA. Here are the top ten ponzi schemes according to the amount quantified by SEC.

Name of Ponzi Player Loss in Million Dollars Summary of the Scheme Destination
Paul Burks and Rex Venture Group 600 SEC shut down a $600 million Ponzi scheme on the verge of collapse after an online marketer raised money from more than one million Internet customers through the website ZeekRewards.com and the “net profits” being paid to investors were merely funds received from new investors. Nationwide
Agape World Inc 415 SEC charged four sets of siblings and other sales agents who misled investors and illegally sold securities for a Long Island-based investment firm at the center of a $415 million Ponzi scheme. Long Island
George Levin and Frank Preve  157 SEC charged two individuals who provided the biggest influx of investor funds into one of the largest-ever Ponzi schemes in South Florida. South Florida
Wayne Palmer  100 SEC halted a $100 million real estate-based Ponzi scheme operated by a Utah man and his company that bilked investors nationwide. Utah
Jim Donnan and Gregory Crabtree  80 SEC announced fraud charges against a former college football coach who teamed with an Ohio man to conduct an $80 million Ponzi scheme that included other college coaches and former players among its victims. Ohio
John Geringer  60 SEC charges a Northern California-based fund manager with running a $60 million investment fund like a Ponzi scheme and defrauding investors by touting imaginary trading profits instead of reporting the actual trading losses he incurred. North California
Mark Feathers  42 SEC shut down a $42 Million Ponzi-like scheme in which a San Jose area man promised high returns for investors in two mortgage investment funds but paid them in part with money from new investors. San Jose
Bridge Premium Finance 15.7 SEC announced fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze against a Denver-based company and Colorado residents Michael Turnock and William Sullivan II for carrying out a $15.7 million Ponzi scheme harming more than 120 investors nationwide. Denver
Ephren Taylor II  11 SEC charged a self-described “Social Capitalist” with running a Ponzi scheme that raised more than $11 million by targeting socially-conscious investors in church organizations. Nationwide

Author: Mayur Joshi

Jai Ho Gurudeo of Ponzi Schemes

Gurudeo “Buddy” Persaud is the classic example of innovation in Ponzi schemes. He lured family, friends, and others into investing in his firm, White Elephant Trading Company LLC, by falsely guaranteeing their money would be safe and yield lofty returns ranging from 6 to 18 percent. Persaud told investors he would invest in the debt, stock, futures, and real estate markets. However, he did not tell investors that in making at least 90% of his trading decisions, he relied on directional market forecasts based on lunar cycles and gravitational pull provided by an internet service.

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged that Gurudeo “Buddy” Persaud a former broker in Orlando, Fla., defrauded investors in an astrology-based Ponzi scheme

The primary principle underlying Persaud’s trading strategy was that the gravitational pull between the moon and Earth affects mass human behavior, which in turn affects the stock markets. For example, Persaud believed that when the moon is positioned so there is a greater gravitational pull on humans, they feel down and are therefore more inclined to sell securities in the markets.