Ponzi scheme

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Feds Say Madoff Victim Fund Has Surpassed Expectations

25K scammed investors got $158.9M back in latest distribution of funds

(Newser) - The Justice Department says its Madoff Victim Fund has "exceeded expectations" and is paying out $158.9 million to almost 25,000 scammed investors in its latest distribution of funds. On Monday—15 years to the day after Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme was exposed—the department said...

Feds Say Fraudster Freed by Trump Went Back to Old Ways

Eliyahu Weinstein scammed investors with bogus deal, federal prosecutors say

(Newser) - A criminal freed by a pardon from former President Trump "picked up right where he left off" when he got out of prison in January 2021, federal prosecutors say. Eliyahu Weinstein, who was serving a 24-year-sentence in connection with two Ponzi schemes when Trump freed him, has been charged...

Her Mysterious Death Remains So After Coroner's Report

Inquest determines that Australia's Melissa Caddick is dead, but can't determine how

(Newser) - A coroner has put to rest one aspect of the perplexing case of an alleged fraudster named Melissa Caddick that has captivated people well beyond her homeland of Australia. "The conclusion I have reached is that Melissa Caddick is deceased," writes deputy New South Wales coroner Elizabeth Ryan,...

Feds Say Crypto Firm Was $300M Ponzi Scheme

Forsage's founders among 11 charged by SEC

(Newser) - Cryptocurrency firm Forsage used technology undreamt of when Charles Ponzi was ripping off investors in the 1920s but regulators say the basic idea was the same: A scam in which investors promised big returns were paid off with money from later investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged 11...

2 Men Indicted in $99M 'Wine-Based Ponzi Scheme'

They allegedly told investors fine wine would be used as collateral for loans

(Newser) - Two British men told investors that they brokered loans for wealthy wine collectors using fine wines as collateral—but the collectors didn't exist, and neither did most of the wine, prosecutors in New York say. Stephen Burton and James Wellesley are accused of scamming investors out of almost $100...

Phony 'Hollywood Success Story' Sentenced to 20 Years

Actor Zachary Horwitz, aka Zach Avery, hears his fate after bilking investors in $650M Ponzi scheme

(Newser) - Update: A Hollywood actor accused of running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme was sentenced Monday to 20 years behind bars in federal prison, reports CNN Business . Per a DOJ release , Zachary Horwitz (aka Zach Avery), 35, was ordered by Judge Mark C. Scarsi, of the US District Court for the Central...

Tinder Removes Man Accused in Documentary
Tinder Removes Man
Accused in Documentary

Tinder Removes Man Accused in Documentary

'Elle' dives into the women featured in Netflix's 'The Tinder Swindler'

(Newser) - Update: No one can swipe right on Simon Leviev anymore, Tinder has decided. The subject of the Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler has been taken off the platform, the Washington Post reports. You won't find him under "Shimon Hayut," either; Tinder said he's no longer active...

California Man Sentenced in $1B Solar Ponzi Scheme

Jeff Carpoff gets 30 years

(Newser) - The owner of a San Francisco Bay Area solar energy company was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Tuesday for an audacious Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $1 billion. It's the biggest criminal fraud scheme in the history of the federal court district that covers inland Northern...

Radio Host Gets 3 Life Sentences for Ponzi Scheme

William Neil Gallagher vowed to help people retire safe, did the opposite

(Newser) - It turns out the "Money Doctor" didn't dispense much in the way of financial health. Texas radio host William Neil Gallagher—who went by that name and ran the Gallagher Financial Group—was on Monday sentenced to three life sentences for bilking 192 people out of at least...

How College Pals Fell Victim to Hollywood Ponzi Scheme
D-List Actor Pleads Guilty
in $690M Ponzi Scheme

D-List Actor Pleads Guilty in $690M Ponzi Scheme

Zachary Horwitz faces 20 years for scheme that ensnared his college buddies

(Newser) - Update: An actor accused in a $690 million Ponzi scheme will face up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of securities fraud on Monday. Zachary Horwitz of 1inMM Capital allegedly used fake licensing agreements to fool investors, including his college buddies, into putting up money...

A Cryptocurrency CEO Died at 30, Then Things Got Weirder

QuadrigaCX had hundreds of millions of dollars—or did it?

(Newser) - When Gerald Cotten was in high school, the Ontario teen was known to hustle to get his work done in class so that he could spend any free time getting around the school's firewalls to play online games. If that sounds like the origin story of a future internet...

The Shared Blame for Madoff
The Shared Blame for Madoff

The Shared Blame for Madoff

Investors should've pushed more, but the SEC takes the cake, columnist writes

(Newser) - "Everyone was greedy," Bernie Madoff once said. "I just went along." That's a little convenient, but then there's been a lot of revisionism since his scams were exposed. Plenty of people say they'd never have fallen for his offer of 12% annual returns,...

Bernie Madoff Dies in Prison at Age 82

Sources tell AP Ponzi schemer died of natural causes

(Newser) - Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, died in a federal prison early Wednesday, a person familiar with the matter told the AP . Madoff died at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, NC, apparently from natural causes, the person said. The person...

Largest Fraud Vermont Has Ever Seen Started With a Peak

Things were rotten from the start of the 2008 purchase of Jay Peak

(Newser) - Vermont's Jay Peak ski resort was for sale, and a Florida man wanted it—and got it. But as Dan D'Ambrosio and April McCullum of the Burlington Free Press describe in a lengthy three-part series, it would only be years later that authorities would determine Ariel Quiros only...

Fraud Suspect Tries to Flee FBI on 'Sea Scooter'
Fraud Suspect Attempts
Very Unusual Getaway
in case you missed it

Fraud Suspect Attempts Very Unusual Getaway

California man didn't get far on his sea scooter

(Newser) - A California man accused of scamming members of his local church in a $35 million Ponzi scheme attempted a daring getaway Monday with federal agents in hot pursuit. The FBI says 44-year-old Matthew Piercey fled in his pickup truck before entering Lake Shasta, the state's largest reservoir, and attempting...

Judge Rejects Freeing Madoff
Judge Won't Release Madoff

Judge Won't Release Madoff

Ponzi scheme victims are still suffering, ruling says

(Newser) - Saying "many people are still suffering from" the crimes committed by Bernie Madoff, a federal judge refused Thursday to set the convict free. Madoff, 82, is serving a 150-year sentence, but his lawyers said he's dying of kidney disease and asked that he be released now, CNBC reports....

Madoff Victims to Receive Another Check

Senator opposes convict's request for early release

(Newser) - Another $378.5 million is on its way to victims of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. The Justice Department said Monday that this will be the fifth round of payments, from a government fund of forfeited money, that altogether will total more than $4 billion, NBC reports. More than 38,...

Madoff Wants to Make 'Dying Plea' for Release

Lawyer says fraudster wants to personally tell judge he is remorseful

(Newser) - Bernie Madoff, who disclosed last month that he is dying of kidney disease , wants to make a "final dying, personal plea" for freedom, the fraudster's lawyer said Thursday in a request for a new hearing. Attorney Brandon Sample said it would be "eminently reasonable" to schedule a...

Bernie Madoff: I Don't Have Much Time Left to Live

The disgraced Ponzi schemer says he has kidney disease

(Newser) - Epic Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff asked a federal judge Wednesday to grant him a "compassionate release" from his 150-year prison sentence, saying he has terminal kidney failure and less than 18 months to live, the AP reports. Madoff's attorney filed court papers saying the 81-year-old has end-stage kidney...

Bernie Madoff Asks Trump for Clemency

'The very definition of chutzpah'

(Newser) - Bernie Madoff is now 10 years into his 150-year sentence for orchestrating a $65 billion Ponzi scheme—and the 81-year-old is looking for a way out. Justice Department records show that Madoff has petitioned President Trump to commute his sentence, and the request is listed as "pending," ABC...

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