Investors might not hear much about Ponzi schemes these days, but that does mean they are gone. In fact, many people are still running these investment schemes in New York. This form of securities fraud heaps huge losses on those who were led to believe that they were making sound investments.

Two men were recently sent to prison for wire fraud. Investigators say they committed that fraud while running an illegal Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of more than $22 million. Both men are 46 years old, and a judge sent one of them to federal prison for 240 months and sentenced the other to 136 months. Both must pay $9,103,088.12 in restitution. This comes out to a total of $18,206,176.24, several million shy of the $22 million they reportedly scammed from investors.

Investigators determined that the men told investors there was a guaranteed return of 30% -- and that was just the minimum. One of the two promised that all of the investment money went into a secure escrow account when it was actually funneled over to the other man. The money was then used for a number of different things, including things like securities trading, home leases and even private school tuition.

It is understandable that a good number of New York investors believe that this cannot happen to them, especially if they invest with friends or even loved ones. However, many of the victims were actually friends and even family members of the men who ran the scheme. The sad reality is that almost anyone can fall victim to securities fraud, so it might be a good idea to have helpful representation on one's side when trying to recover losses.

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