The SEC busts another Ponzi-affinity scam, though this time it didn’t target people of a particular religious group. Instead: the deaf community in the US and Japan. Sick.
The SEC alleges that Hawaii-based Billion Coupons, Inc. (BCI) and its CEO Marvin R. Cooper raised $4.4 million from 125 investors since at least September 2007 by, among other things, holding investment seminars at Deaf community centres. The SEC also alleges that Cooper misappropriated at least $1.4 million in investor funds to pay for a new home and other personal expenses. The order obtained by the SEC freezes the assets of BCI and Cooper.
This emergency action shows that the Commission will act quickly and decisively to help victims of affinity fraud,” said Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
Any chance this was Markopolos’ promised scam?
Added: Cooper was profiled by the Star-Tribuned back in 2006. It seems by then he had already founded his company, though perhaps there was nothing scammy at that point.