Volunteering for and donating to charities is an excellent way for people in New York to give back and help others. When a situation arises in which it is possible to help a charity while also receiving a return on investment, it might feel like the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, at least two people who thought they were doing just that say never saw any type of return. Instead, they ended up being victims of investment fraud.

An out-of-state financial adviser allegedly told some of his clients that he worked with a charity that involved several different celebrities. These include Taylor Swift and Bill Gates, among others. According to the two known victims who invested in the scam, the adviser promised that they would receive a 20% return for investing in the charity. He also leveraged his nonexistent relationships with celebrities to encourage his clients to invest, and even claimed that he and Swift were engaged. No such charity or celebrity relationships existed.

The two investors put approximately $576,000 into the fake charity. Rather than donating the money to any type of cause, the adviser spent at least part of the money for personal use. The rest of the funds were transferred to various entities and people across the rest of the United States.

The adviser is currently involved in an administrative court case, but he is expected to also face criminal charges for the alleged investment fraud. However, while criminal charges may serve justice, victims often choose to also pursue civil claims to recover compensation. Since investment fraud claims often involve significant amounts of money, many victims in New York find it easier to work with an experienced attorney rather than pursue things on their own.

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