Photo: Marcus Frick.de
Germany’s version of Jim Cramer, Markus Frick, and a dodgy Canadian investment banker are accused of stealing $86 million from investors, the New York Post reports.Frick is best known as Germany’s version of Jim Cramer – Deutschland’s “flashiest investment guru.”
His story – a classic rags to richest tale – certainly hastened his rise to fame in the mid-2000s.
Frick is the son of two bakers from a small town in Southwestern Germany, called Sinsheim. For money, he used to collect cardboard boxes and clean baking pans.
Come 14-years-old, however, he was buying shares. And by 22, he piled all his savings into the stock market, which turned out to be a winning bet.
After successful books with cheesy names like “I’ll Make You Rich” and “Money is Lying In the Streets,” Frick was ranting about the next big stock pick on TV by 2005 (the show was reportedly “modelled heavily on Mad Money”).
But now, Frick is accused of massive fraud alongside Myron Gushlak – a Candian banker who lives in the Cayman Islands. Yesterday, Gushlak pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and laundering money in a New York court.
From the New York Post,
Myron Gushlak, who lives in the Cayman Islands, invested in European stock funds alongside Markus Frick, an investment whiz and financial adviser whose show, “Make Money,” was broadcast on Germany’s N24 TV network.
New Yorkers were among those defrauded, attorneys said, after making investments in ventures that included a Russian energy firm exploring for oil reserves in Siberia. Some of the funds were held in private Swiss accounts.
Apparently Frick used his investment newsletters and e-mails to recommend stocks 23 times, in three shady Russian companies. Of course the stock prices surged as more than 20,000 people invested more than $900 million in the companies, which as it turns out, “only existed on paper.”
All three then crashed overnight, wiping out the savings of thousands of small investors who subscribed to Frick’s newsletter. Frick and his lawyer claim he was taken in by a pair of shady figures who created the shell companies, listed them on the Frankfurt stock market, and then convinced Frick they were legitimate.
Prosecutors didn’t buy the story. A Berlin criminal court alleged Frick was in on the scheme all along, acting as the front man for his co-conspirators. A court spokeswoman says a trial could begin in the next few months.
The Berlin court proceedings against Frick are ongoing.
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