Yesterday, the SEC charged five people from Staten Island with pretending to run a $1.4 billion hedge fund when actually, they ran a complete fraud using fake names, offices, and ridiculous quotes on loud, outlandish websites to lure in investors.Ken Marsh, who went by “Ken Maseka,” “Michael Warren,” and “Marcus Thorn,” according to the SEC’s complaint, was a front-man for the fake $1.4 billion fraudulent hedge fund. He described himself to investors as “Wall Street’s Most Wanted,” using this bio.
Back in 1991 Kenneth Maseka was the most sought after trader on Wall Street for his uncanny knack for finding Wall Street’s hidden gems. In 1995 his average profit exceeded 1000% per trade (not much has changed since then.)
Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns could not lure him away with offers of millions of dollars up front to come over. Maseka asked himself, “Where is the challenge,” and passed on their generous offers. Anyway, when you are averaging 1000% per trade there is no need to be an employee and a few million dollars is nothing in the long-term scheme of things. (Emphasis ours.)
Maseka’s “letter from the President” is also worth a read. He says stuff like “We make heroes of ourselves in the name of sacrifice” and “There is nothing between you and the goal.”
So then it turned out, there is no Ken Maseka. Gryphon allegedly made up his and Gryphon’s five other employees’ names and the fact that both Maseka and Michael Warrn were billionaires. Also fake: Gryphon’s Wall Street address. Their real office is in Staten Island, on 3767 Victory Blvd., next to a martial arts school and a bakery.
For an awful, deceitful scam, it’s pretty funny. Look at the crap these guys slung on Gryphon’s website, thewolvesofwallstreet.com:
“Alone the traders of Gryphon Financial are incredible, together they are unstoppable”
— George Soros
And from another one of their websites, Gryphon Daily:
- “Join this Exclusive Service or Go Broke!”
- “It’s like having your own mini Hedge Fund”
- 9 out of every 10 trades will hit 100% profit status?
- Returns of Up to 483% in Less Than 2 Months?
- Just this once – step outside your comfort zone – buy stocks without prejudice and don’t look at the numbers, don’t look at the chart, buy the stock the minute you hear from us and don’t sell a single share until we tell you to – do this and you are rich, do not and continue to invest in mediocrity.”
Yeah right! Sadly, the five alleged scammers eventually swindled at least $17.5 million from unsuspecting investors.
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