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Investment scheme defrauded investors of more than $345 million

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shut down a Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded anywhere from 200 to 400 investors across the country. The group cheated people out of more than $345 million, according to the SEC’s website.

The group included Kevin B. Merrill, Jay B. Ledford and Cameron Jezierski. Merrill is from Maryland, and the two other men are from Texas. The men promised to buy credit card and student loan debt and then resell it to third party debt buyers. By flipping the debt, they promised investors substantial profits.

Former broker admits to defrauding investors of nearly $4 million

A former UBS broker, John MacColl, has confessed to stealing millions from at least 15 clients between 2008 and 2018. The confession came after a former client became suspicious about an investment made with MacColl. When the client requested an account statement, the former broker faxed a statement with several misspellings and errors.

The client then reached out to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a non-profit organization that helps protect American Investors.

Identifying a Ponzi scheme

If something seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Even though that saying is well known within society, it is not always easy to identify red flags when someone is trying to pull you into a scheme. Unfortunately, some people try to take advantage of investors, especially investors who are not knowledgeable about potential schemes or are desperate for a quick fix to a financial situation. These solutions appear to be legitimate on the surface and offer potential results that would benefit you greatly, but underneath reveal

A Ponzi scheme is when a seller uses money from a new investor to pay an existing investor. It essentially steals money from one person and gives it to someone else. Doing this is illegal. Seniors who have been investing money are becoming targets for such schemes. Experiencing errors that do not appear to be significant could be signs that you are part of a Ponzi scheme. Red flags that you can look for may include:

The most common forms of broker misconduct

Investors deal with risk on a daily basis, navigating unpredictable market changes and other factors as they seek to ensure the health of their portfolios. However, additional risks can come in the form of unscrupulous financial advisors, who harm these investments either through direct action or negligence. Even though most brokers truly have your best interests in mind, a savvy investor must remain vigilant of possible misconduct. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) tracks the most common kinds of misconduct that investors should watch out for.

The differences between financial mediation and arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are the two most common methods used to resolve financial disputes without going to court.

While each avoids the court system, the similarities end there. There are key differences between the two options. Here's what you need to know about mediation and arbitration:

Lookout for the warning signs of an ICO scam

An initial coin offering (ICO) is a fundraising mechanism wherein new blockchain startups sell cryptotokens or cryptocurrencies to investors in exchange for capital to fund the startup process. The token sales allow investors to fund ambitious projects for the next generation of successful companies. In return for purchasing tokens, the investors share in the returns as the project matures and becomes financially viable.

An ICO bears similarity to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), where a company sells shares of their business to investors, however, there is a key difference. IPOs are subject to regularization whereas ICOs are not, leaving the playing field of new platforms ripe with potential for exploitation. ICOs have high volatility risk, but also the ability to be extremely profitable.

Lawsuit alleges CBOE volatility index stock manipulation

A class action lawsuit to uncover the identities of traders who may have been manipulating the VIX has been filed by a Chicago-based trading firm. The alleged manipulation caused financial losses for investors.

Understanding the VIX

Warning signs of investment fraud that seniors should know

Navigating the world of investing can be complicated. For every legitimate investment opportunity, there is a multitude of scams. It is all too easy to misplace your trust and fall victim to investment fraud.

Senior citizens are at a particularly high risk for investment fraud. Because seniors are not always as technologically savvy as their younger family members, they are frequent targets for scams. To help combat investment fraud among senior citizens, the Security and Exchange Commission's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has compiled a short list of investment fraud red flags that seniors should know about.

Regulations may halt the cryptocurrency craze

The thought of virtual money is obscure, but not entirely unfathomable. Like stocks and similar investments, you can purchase and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum that have slightly unusual properties. Many older investors are curious about whether to enter the market. However, economists and market observers have a few new concerns.

On this blog, we previously discussed how people sold fake cryptocurrency investments to Baby boomers. Governments around the world have begun to notice that this kind of behavior is placing investors at risk. These virtual coins, given their newfangled status, have not faced regulation like established currencies, but that may soon change.

Puerto Rico investors face large losses after Hurricane Maria

Although Puerto Rico’s economy was struggling before being ravaged by Hurricane Maria, the aftereffects are impacting the investment market in waves.

In May 2017, Puerto Rico claimed bankruptcy. The island had long struggled financially and owed over $70 billion dollars in bond obligations. In addition to the bond debt, Puerto Rico has $49 billion dollars in unfunded pensions in near insolvency. The debt Puerto Rico has amassed represents close to 70 percent of the island’s gross domestic product (GDP), whereas in the U.S. the average debt-to-GDP ratio is only 17 percent.

Contact A Manhattan Investment Fraud Lawyer With Extensive Experience

For a free consultation with an experienced New York City securities litigation lawyer, contact the law firm of Timothy J. Dennin, P.C., by calling 866-437-9475.

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