scheme solicited elderly members of Jehovahís Witnesses congregations
The SEC complaint
alleges that the defendants operated a Ponzi scheme and used
investor funds to pay lavish personal expenses. The defendants
raised over $16 million from more than 190 investors nationwide.
Many of the victims were elderly members of Jehovahís Witnesses
congregations and were promised returns of up to 75 percent.
real estate investment scheme directed at retirees
SEC charged various
real estate investment companies and their principals with defrauding
senior citizens and retirees out of $15 million by conducting
transactions in which they issued promissory notes in real estate
investments they owned and operated. To make the sales, the
defendants made gross misrepresentations about the financial
conditions of their investment companies.
scheme targeted African-Americans and Christians
an affinity fraud, raising at least $16.5 million from mostly
African-Americans and Christians by falsely representing they
would receive returns through investments in, among other things,
real estate, small businesses, and "markets of the world."
Investment Adviser bilked Korean Investors
raised more than $36 million by inducing members of the Korean-American
community to invest funds with promises of large returns.
Investors funds were not invested in accounts of a New York
brokerage firm as represented; rather defendants put funds in
bank accounts and fabricated monthly account statements. The
adviser has pleaded guilty to related criminal charges.
Armenian-American community loses more than $19 Million
fraud targeted Armenian-Americans with little investment experience,
for some of whom English was a second language. The architect
of this fraud was later indicted.
Criminal charges against South Florida man for $51.9 million
victims of this investment scheme were guaranteed that their
investments would generate a 30% risk-free and tax-free annual
"Church Funding Project" costs faithful investors over $3
scheme primarily targeted African-American churches and raised
at least $3 million from over 1000 investing churches located
throughout the United States. Believing they would receive large
sums of money from the investments, many of the church victims
committed to building projects, acquired new debt, spent building
funds, and contracted with builders.
Baptist investors lose over $3.5 Million
The victims of
this fraud were mainly African-American Baptists, many of whom
were elderly and disabled, as well as a number of Baptist churches
and religious organizations located in a number of states. The
promoter (Randolph, who was a minister himself and who is currently
in jail) promised returns ranging between 7 and 30%, but in
reality was operating a Ponzi scheme. In addition to a jail
sentence, Randolph was ordered to pay $1 million in the SEC's
More than 1,000 Latin-American investors lose over $400 Million
The victims sought
low risk investments. Instead, the two promoters (who received
of seven and 12 years respectively) misappropriated their funds
and lied about how much money was in their accounts.
125 members of various Christian churches lose $7.4 million
allegedly sold members non-existent "prime bank" trading programs
by using a sales pitch heavily laden with Biblical references
and by enlisting members of the church communities to unwittingly
spread the word about the bogus investment.
$2.5 million stolen from 100 Texas senior citizens
obtained information about the assets and financial condition
of the elderly victims who were encouraged to liquidate their
safe retirement savings and to invest in securities with higher
returns. In reality, the fraudsters never invested the money
and stole the funds.