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.