Palmetto Investments & Advisor Estate Settle For $4.6M

Palmetto Investments & Advisor Estate Settle For $4.6M

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached a $4.6 million final judgment to settle with the estate of a Michigan-based investment advisor who defrauded 100 investors with an “extreme day trading” investment program.

The judgment requires the estate of investment advisor Vincent James Saviano and his company, Palmetto Investments LLC, to pay $4.4 million in disgorgement and nearly $150,000 in interest.

Palmetto Investments Found to Be Fraudulent

The judgement comes three years after Saviano was found dead from an apparent suicide shortly after he confessed his fraud to several investors. After the confession, the SEC filed a suit against Saviano’s estate and Palmetto Investments. The SEC complaint states that Saviano touted success of the Palmetto investment program despite its massive trading losses and his use of investor money to fund his gambling habit.

Palmetto Investments Dupes More Than 100 Investors

According to the 2014 complaint, Saviano and Palmetto Investments started pitching investors in 2010, selling stakes in the “Palmetto Investment Portfolio,” which purported to make money through the “extreme” day trading of stocks.

To build investor confidence Saviano told investors in both oral and written communications that the fund had a historical track record of monthly returns ranging from 5 to 10 percent. He sent reports showing consistent gains in account balances, while assuring investors that a registered investment adviser was advising the fund.

Using this scheme Saviano and Palmetto were able to scam 100 investors, raising at least $1.96 million. According to the SEC, Saviano’s trading lost money in all but five months between 2011 and 2013. By the end of September 2014, the SEC alleged, Saviano had lost more than 80 percent of investors’ funds.

Funds Will Come from Receiver’s Efforts

In 2014, when the SEC filed suit, the court froze the assets of Saviano’s estate and Palmetto Investments, approving the appointment of a receiver over Palmetto. According to the SEC, the receiver’s efforts have included liquidating Palmetto’s assets and distributing more than $1 million of recovered money to eligible investors.

Did You Lose Money to Investment Fraud?

If you believe you have been the victim of investment fraud, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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CFTC Accuses Profit Management of $1.2M Ponzi Scheme

CFTC Accuses Profit Management of $1.2M Ponzi Scheme

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently filed suit in New York federal court accusing a California husband and wife of running a Ponzi scheme. The couple’s company, Profit Management, received nearly $1.2 million from investors with the understanding that their money would be used to trade in futures through a commodities pool. The pool never made such trades.

The couple, Hasan Sarwar and Rachida Elfrimi of Rancho Cucamonga, allegedly defrauded more than 40 investors by falsely claiming that Profit Management’s commodities pool made a daily return of 5 to 7 percent. But the pool did not conduct any futures trades and earned no profits.

According to the CFTC’s allegations, investors’ money was placed in bank accounts belonging to Sarwar and Elfrimi. Sarwar used a little less than half of investors’ funds for trading in his own personal account — where all but about $5,800 was eaten up by bad trades and account fees — and for paying the couple’s business and personal expenses.

The rest went to Ponzi-style payments to early investors. To keep the scheme going, investors were sent false account statements showing how much money was being held in their names.

CTFC Seeks Permanent Injunction

The CFTC alleges that Profit Management and Sarwar and Elfrimi’s conduct violated the Commodity Exchange Act and other CFTC regulations. The agency seeks restitution, disgorgement, and civil monetary penalties, in addition to trading and registration bans and a permanent injunction against future violations.

Did You Loose Money to Profit Management? 

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

 

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WealthCFO Advisor Charged with Stealing and Identity Fraud

WealthCFO Advisor Charged with Stealing and Identity Fraud

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently brought fraud charges against a former New York investment advisor of the firm WealthCFO, now living in Egypt, and his operations manager, and accused them of stealing approximately $378,000 from seven clients.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that investment advisor Tarek D. Bahgat of Williamsville, N.Y. misappropriated money from clients, including senior citizens. Bahgat obtained internet bill-paying privileges that allowed him to impersonate his clients in telephone calls triggering money transfers. The money transferred from client accounts was directed to Bahgat’s personal accounts or those of his firm, WealthCFO.

Investment Advisor Had Accomplice

The SEC complaint also says that Lauramarie Colangelo, the firm’s operations manager, was an accomplice in the scheme, posing as a client of Bahgat’s during a call with a broker-dealer.

The SEC seeks permanent injunctions and civil penalties, as well as disgorgement plus interest. The complaint also names WealthCFO as a relief defendant for the purpose of disgorging illicit proceeds, plus interest.

Have You Lost Money to an Investment Advisor?

If you believe you have been the victim of investment fraud or believe your investment advisor is not acting in your best interest, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Leonard Vincent Lombardo Charged for Real Estate Scam

Leonard Vincent Lombardo Charged for Real Estate Scam

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged former broker Leonard Vincent Lombardo for allegedly defrauding over 100 investors in a $6 million real estate investment scheme. The charges also include his company, The Leonard Vincent Group, and his business partner.

Real Estate Scheme Involved Distressed Assets

According to the SEC’s complaint, Lombardo defrauded investors with false claims, saying their money would be invested in distressed real estate with high returns. Some investors allegedly were told that their investments had increased by more than 50% in a matter of months when the investments actually had no earnings.

Lombardo allegedly invested only a fraction of the money in real estate and used the rest of it to support business ventures in the e-cigarette industry and personal expenses such as car payments, marina fees, and visits to tanning salons.

Lombardo Agrees to Settle Case 

Lombardo, along with his company The Leonard Vincent Group, and its CFO Brian Hudlin, have agreed to settlements that are subject to court approval. He and his firm have agreed to disgorge $5.88 million to investors. Hudlin, without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, has agreed to pay a $40,000 penalty.

In a parallel criminal case, Lombardo pled guilty to investment fraud charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in June 2017.

Lombardo Barred from Securities Industry for Over 20 Years

Lombardo has been barred from the securities industry for more than two decades. The advisor once worked at Stratton Oakmont, the infamous brokerage firm that was the basis for Martin Scorsese movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which FINRA expelled from the industry in 1998.

Did You Lose Money to Broker Leonard Vincent Lombardo?

If you believe you have been the victim of stockbroker misconduct, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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SEC Says Quigley Brothers Stole $855K from Investors

SEC Says Quigley Brothers Stole $855K from Investors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a federal suit in New York alleging that Michael and Brian Quigley stole approximately $855,000 from investors who thought they were investing in penny stock companies, investment funds, and blue-chip companies.

In a complaint filed August 10th, the SEC alleges that between 2003 and 2012, the Quigley brothers misled at least four different investors to believe their money was going toward companies about to go public. But the Quigleys pocketed the money.

According to the SEC, the two brothers, along with another brother, William Quigley, convinced investors to wire money to bank and brokerage accounts. To reassure investors, the brothers forged documents and account statements and made up fake firms and fake colleagues.

In March of this year, William Quigley admitted to stealing more than $500,000 from unsuspecting investors and agreed to be barred from participating in penny stock offerings and from associating with broker-dealers. He is a former Trident Partners Ltd. chief compliance officer.

The SEC is urging the court to bar the pair from participating in penny stock offerings and to order the brothers to turn over all the ill-gotten gains, while also paying prejudgment interest and civil penalties.

Are You the Victim of Investment Fraud?

If you believe you have been the victim of investment fraud, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the investment fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Gold and Diamond Investment Fraud Scheme Leads to Prison

Gold and Diamond Investment Fraud Scheme Leads to Prison

The originator of a gold and diamond investment fraud scheme has been sentenced in a North Carolina federal court to more than seven years in prison. The scheme, orchestrated by Cassell Anthony Kuoh, bilked victims out of more than $9.5 million.

Kuoh is a Liberian national who lived in Liberia and owned Phoenix Mining and Investment Group (Phoenix Mining), which claimed to be in the precious metal and gemstone business.

From 2012 to 2016 Kuoh devised and operated a scheme involving the purchase, shipment, and export of unrefined gold and rough diamonds from Liberia.

He told investors their money would be used to move the gold and diamonds into the United States, which then would be refined or cut and sold for a profit. As part of the scheme, he even invited investors to Africa to visit the mining operations and inspect the gold and diamonds.

For investors who made the journey, operations were set up by Kuoh to look legitimate and profitable, when in fact Kuoh borrowed gold and diamonds from others. Once Kuoh received the funds from investors he used stall tactics and lies to cover up the scheme, including falsifying documents and creating fake companies.

According to prosecutors, Kuoh used investors’ money to fund his personal lifestyle, including the purchase of a house in Harrisburg, North Carolina.

Kuoh Pleads Guilty Prior to Sentencing

In addition to seven years in prison, Kuoh was ordered to pay $16.2 million in restitution. As a Liberian national, he also will be subject to deportation proceedings upon the completion of his federal sentence.

In March 2017, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Kuoh’s co-defendant, Emmanuel Tarr, 30, of Liberia, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.

Do You Lose Money in an Investment Fraud Scheme?

If you have been a victim of an investment fraud scheme or are suspicious that your broker is not acting in your best interest, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the securities fraud lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from brokers and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Man Sentenced for Ponzi Scheme Assistance

Man Sentenced for Ponzi Scheme Assistance

Ponzi Scheme Assistance Leads to Prison

A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced in Texas to time in prison for assisting a Mexican businessman in the operations of a $14 million dollar Ponzi scheme.
A federal judge has sentenced 61-year-old David Brian Binder of Pittsburg, PA, to 30 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, a United States District judge has ordered Binder to pay a $5,000 fine and $503,027.90 restitution.

The Mexican businessman in the case is Roberto Trinidad Del Carpio Frescas, who presented himself to investors as a licensed investment broker and expert in stocks, bonds, futures in oil, gas, precious metals and currency.

Though he was not licensed in the state of Texas as a dealer, Del Carpio collected money from over 100 known investors in Mexico and the United States. From August 2010 to January 2012, Del Carpio pocketed most all of the funds he collected. He paid only minimal amounts of money to “early” investors as a return on their investment and to encourage his victims to invest more of their money with him – a hallmark of a Ponzi scheme.

After an investigation and trial, on Binder pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on March 3, 2017. He also admitted that he assisted Del Carpio in keeping proceeds from the scheme out of the hands of potential creditors as well as lying to them about protecting their investments.

Have You Been a Victim of a Ponzi Scheme?

If you are the victim of a Ponzi scheme or have lost money in an investment scheme, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call An Investment Attorney Today

If you are looking for an investment fraud attorney to review your rights and options, the securities lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerages firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our investment fraud attorneys represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an investment fraud attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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EB-5 Investors File Suit Against California Attorney

EB-5 Investor Lawsuit Filed Against California Attorney

A group of Chinese nationals have filed an EB-5 investor lawsuit in a California state court against a California attorney and her father. The claim states that the Chinese nationals were “victims of a fraudulent scheme” that promised them visas in exchange for investments in the EB-5 program.

The claim, filed by Yeqing Xia, Rui Zhang, Song Yao Li and Ting Li, alleges that the plaintiffs were solicited in 2011 to apply to the EB-5 visa program by attorney Victoria Chan and her father. To qualify, they each handed over more than $500,000, not including attorneys’ fees.

The four plaintiffs are among more than 100 Chinese nationals allegedly solicited in the EB-5 investor scheme.

EB-5 Investors Caught in $50M Scam

The attorney, Victoria Chan, and her father, Tat Chan, have been accused by the FBI of exploiting the EB-5 immigrant investor program. Federal authorities allege that the Chans stole millions of dollars from investors, spending the money on personal property purchases and expenses. The allegations suggest that the Chans defrauded EB-5 investors of $50 million over the course of nearly a decade.

Government prosecutors have filed nine property forfeiture actions against the Chans. According to Law360, the nine properties involved in the forfeiture actions total more than $30 million. One of them is a commercial property in the City of Industry worth more than $3 million and a $707 million parcel of land in Rancho Cucamonga.

The government also accuses the Chans of redirecting business funds for personal gain. Their business was registered as the California Investment Immigration Fund LLC (CIIF).

Fraudulent CIIF Scheme

According to documents filed, the Chans launched their EB-5 scheme nine years ago. Victoria Chan submitted a request to designate her organization, the California Immigration Investment Fund (CIIF), as a regional center to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office. The request was approved.

U.S. operations for the company were run by Victoria Chan out of the San Gabriel Hilton Hotel while her father Tat led the Chinese side in Guangzhou, a city in southern China.

According to the FBI affidavit, the CIIF had at least 14 affiliating companies and service providers. In reality, the CIIF regional center was staffed with high schoolers who were paid to pose as full-time employees.

In addition, FBI agents found that supposed developments were not actually in progress, and to date, nothing had been built. Despite this, some of the CIIF investors seemingly obtained visas and green cards. The investigation is ongoing.

The EB-5 Program

The EB-5 visa program offers green cards to foreign citizens who invest in American businesses. The program centers around a “regional center,” which acts as an intermediary between the developers and investors. In exchange for investments, EB-5 investors are promised U.S. visas and green cards.

Typically, regional centers charge developers between 5 and 8 percent of the total capital raised, charging each investor an administrative fee of $25,000 to $60,000 on top of the $500,000 minimum commitment they are making to the project.

Are You Caught in an EB-5 Investor Scam?  

If you invested with the Chans or think you may be involved in an EB-5 investor scam, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the securities lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from for clients for wrongful actions.

Contact an attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Campbell Mayor Convicted of Securities Fraud

Campbell Mayor Convicted of Securities Fraud

A former Campbell city mayor has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for investment fraud. In addition, the presiding judge ordered the former Campbell mayor, George Krinos, to pay $1,211,385 in restitution to his victims.

Krinos Holding Securities Fraud Scheme

The 39-year-old former Campbell mayor of a small town in Ohio was accused of orchestrating a nearly $1.2 million investment fraud scheme from 2011 to 2014. Krinos ran a company known as Krinos Holdings to sell securities to at least ten people in Ohio, causing them significant financial losses.

Since the securities were unregistered, Krinos exclusively sold them to “accredited investors”– individuals with a net worth in excess of $1 million or who met specific, high-dollar income thresholds.

Krinos told investors that the fund would be used to provide venture capital for various client companies seeking funds from Krinos Holdings. In exchange, he promised that initial investments would rise in value as much as $5 or $6 per share.

Instead of using the funds raised for business purposes, Krinos used the money for personal expenses and to engage in unauthorized foreign currency transactions.

To cover up the scheme, Krinos told investors that he had more than $600 million under management and submitted falsified letters and statements that reflected high account balances. The personal expenses were passed off as “sales and marketing” costs.

By law, securities sold have to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Securities Fraud Accompanied by Failing to Pay Tax

In January, Krinos pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of willfully failing to pay taxes. In addition to the securities fraud scheme, Krinos also improperly withheld taxes from his employees, without paying those taxes to the IRS. The taxes, including federal income taxes and Federal Insurance Contribution Act taxes, total to approximately $91,495.

Krinos was mayor of Campbell, Ohio from 2010 to 2011.

Have You Been a Victim of Securities Fraud?

If you are the victim of securities fraud or believe you have been scammed, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, the securities lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A.  represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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Barclays bank is facing fraud for Barclays Qatar Investments.

Fraud Charges Related to Barclays Qatar Investments

Fraud Charges Related to Barclays Qatar Investments

A five-year investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has led to criminal charges against Barclays and four former Barclays executives. The charges are related to the bank’s dealings with Qataris during the financial crisis.

SFO Charges 4 Former Barclays Executives

The SFO has charged the bank and two top executives with two counts of conspiracy to commit “fraud by false representation” and one of “unlawful financial assistance”. John Varley, the head of the bank, and Roger Jenkins, who headed Barclays’ investment banking and management businesses in the Middle East, are the implicated executives. In addition, SFO charged former executives Tom Karlaris and Richard Boath with “fraud by false representation.” These two have stated that they will contest the charges.
Remarkably, the criminal charges are the first of their kind to be leveled against the head of a big international bank as a result of the crisis.

Barclays Raised Equity from Qatari Investors

The charges are related to Barclays’ arrangements with the Qatari investors, including a loan of $3 billion dollars made to the Gulf state in November 2008.

When banks began to fail at the start of what was to become a global financial crisis, Barclays was one of the few banks to avoid a government bailout. As the crisis deepened, Barclays was able to escape taxpayer rescue by raising private equity to meet the higher capital targets set by regulators. The investments, notably, came from Qataris.

Prior to the November 2008 loan, Barclays agreed to pay £322m over five years to a Qatar Holding for advisory services in the Middle East in June and October of 2008. At the time, the first payment was disclosed, but the second payment and the fees were not.

That June, Barclays raised £4.5 billion from a variety of Qatari investors, including the state-owned Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Challenger, which represented Qatar’s then prime minister. A few months later, in October, the bank raised up to £7.3 billion more from additional investors, including Qatar Holding. Qatar Holding is an arm of the QIA, which owns just under 6% of Barclays.

Under investigation, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a British regulator, and American authorities looked into the service agreements, resulting in a fine of £50m in 2013. The bank appealed.

Did You Invest with Barclays?

If you invested with Barclays or think you may be involved in securities fraud, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.

Call an Investment Fraud Attorney Today

If you are looking for an attorney to review your rights and options, the securities lawyers at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered over $100 million from banks and brokerages firms for their wrongful actions.

With offices in Los AngelesNew YorkWest Palm Beach and Miami, our securities attorneys represent clients nationwide and may be able to help you recover your investment losses.

Contact an attorney at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. today to schedule an appointment or consultation to review your rights and options.

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