Post-Madoff, we’ve seen so many new Ponzi schemes uncovered that we just can’t keep track of them all. As the quote goes, the low tide is exposing many pervy swimmers that don’t wear trunks.
Also, the more frauds that get exposed, the less remarkable Madoff seems. Yes, his was was orders of magnitude larger than the others. But since this is obviously such a common fraud, statistics suggest that there’d be one outlier, by dint of luck if nothing else, that lasts a lot longer than the rest. And with longevity comes size.
Without further ado, your Ponzi roundup:
- Central Valley Business Times: Six men have been charged with bilking hundreds of people out of $52 million in an Orange County-based Ponzi scheme, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. says.More than a thousand people, including retired senior citizens, were swindled through sham real estate projects, using the investors’ money to buy planes, expensive cars and lavish vacations, the attorney general says.
- LA Times: Citing her “devastating impact on a community that can least afford it,” a judge Tuesday sentenced an Altadena woman to more than 12 years in federal prison for orchestrating a $17.8-million Ponzi scheme that preyed largely on middle-class African American investors.
- Insurance Journal: An alleged Ponzi scheme by a Grand Island insurance agency that recently filed bankruptcy listing more than $100 million in debt is being investigated. Attorney General Jon Bruning this week authorised the State Patrol’s investigation into First Americans Insurance Service and its three principals: James Masat, Stella Levea and Kenneth Mottin — all of Grand Island. The patrol is working with the departments of insurance and banking to piece together how more than $100 million disappeared — with Bruning believing some of it may have been paid out to other investors.
- Arizona Republic: Edward Purvis, the man who promised churchgoing investors in Arizona and 12 other states he could make them wealthy while funding Christian causes, was indicted Friday on 43 counts of fraud and theft.Authorities accuse the 40-year-old Chandler man of operating a multimillion Ponzi-scheme through Nakami Chi Group Ministries International.