Archives For Ponzi Scheme

Aldo Joseph Baccala, Petaluma, California, who ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded victims more than $17 million, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison and ordered to pay a fine of $6.4 million at a hearing in Sonoma County, California.

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Martin A. Pool, 44, Atlanta, Georgia, and Armand R. Franquelin, 57, Liberty, Utah, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and money laundering in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah. The defendants admitted persuading investors to direct funds to their company, The Elva Group, in return for promissory notes with a promise of monthly interest payments at annual rates between 8 percent and 20 percent.

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Randy Poulson, 42, Woolwich Township, New Jersey, the owner and operator of Equity Capital Investments LLC, is charged with allegedly scamming distressed homeowners into giving him their houses and then soliciting fake real estate investments from private investors, secured by those same properties, that netted him more than $3 million in illicit profits.

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Abbe Edelman, 50, Livingston, New Jersey, was arrested at his home by federal law enforcement officers on charges that he allegedly ran a real estate investment scheme that bilked victims out of $4 million.

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Adam J. Manson, 42, Old Westbury, New York, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud for engaging in a $96 million Ponzi scheme with co-defendant and former investment fund manager Brian R. Callahan.  The defendants diverted millions of dollars of investor funds towards the Panoramic View, an unprofitable 117-unit beachfront resort and residence development.

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Henry Thomas Hammond, 57, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, formerly of Liberty, Missouri, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for a $6.2 million series of investment fraud schemes.  The defendant allegedly promised real estate investors an exorbitant rate of return, but instead, deposited investors’ funds into his personal bank account to make vacation home payments, and for elaborate hunting excursions

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Ronald Russell was sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in state prison for running a rent-to-own real estate Ponzi scheme. Russell was also ordered to surrender his real estate license issued by the California Bureau of Real Estate.

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Patrick J. Belzner, a/k/a Patrick McCloskey, 45, Glen Arm, Maryland, pleaded guilty to a wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud and tax evasion. Belzer admitted advising wealthy individuals and investment advisers that in order for the McCloskey Group to obtain loans for real estate projects, the loan broker required large sums of money be deposited in an escrow bank account to show liquidity. However, the investors’ funds were removed soon after being deposited and the stolen funds to pay for their personal and business expenses, as well as to make partial repayments to earlier lenders.

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Eliyahu Weinstein, 38, Lakewood, New Jersey, who was sentenced less than two months ago to 22 years in prison for running a Ponzi-style real estate scheme, was indicted by a federal grand jury on new charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and transacting criminal proceeds while on pretrial release.

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Samuel Ray Palasota, 53, Houston, Texas, has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions on multiple counts of mail and wire fraud.

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