Articles Posted in Ponzi Scams

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has filed a securities fraud complaint against MC2 Capital. The state regulator is accusing the Boston-area hedge fund of running a Ponzi scam involving three hedge funds: the MC2 Capital Partners Fund, the MC2 Capital Value Partners Fund, and the MC2 Canadian Opportunities Fund. Alleged victims included a local institutional investor that invested $2M.

Galvin has taken action to bar the three MC2 Capital funds along with their fund operator Yasuna Murakami, from engaging in further securities business in Massachusetts. Murakami purportedly took more than $15M from over 45 investors.

He allegedly used investors’ money pay for luxury hotels, alcohol, specialty cars, and other personal expenses. The MC2 Capital Partners Fund, which was the original fund and founded in 2007, was marketed primarily to friends and family. Within a year of operation, however, the fund’s balance was negative and investors’ equity was erased.

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IB Capital FX, Two Dutch Citizens to Pay Over $35M to Customers
IB Capital FX, LLC, Emad Echadi, and Michel Geurkink must pay, severally and jointly, a $420K civil penalty and $35M in restitution for soliciting at least $50M from 1,850 customers internationally and in the US even though they lacked the required registration for trading that involved off-exchange margined retail foreign (forex) currency. Also, the firm should have been registered with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

It was the CFTC that obtained the consent order, which permanently prevents the defendants from violating CFTC Regulations and the Commodity Exchange Act further. They also are now subject to permanent registration and trading bans.

$21.8M Default Judgment Issued is in Ponzi Scam
In a default judgment, Puerto Rico resident Alvin Guy Wilkinson and his Wilkinson Financial Opportunity Fund, LP and Chicago Index Partners, LP—both are Connecticut-based financial firms—will jointly and severally pay $21.8M for misappropriating commodity pool funds in a purported Ponzi scam. According to the CFTC’s order, the defendants committed fraud, did not register with the SEC, engaged in misappropriation, and made misrepresentations to the National Futures Association.

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Annette Bongiorno has settled a civil case brought against her over the millions of dollars she and her husband received from managing Bernard Madoff’s investment advisory business and their investments with him. Her job under Madoff was to manage customer accounts. Prosecutors accused Bongiorno of making false securities trades. Now, she is serving a six-year-prison term for her role in Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scam.

As part of the settlement, Bongiorno is obligated to help trustee Irving Picard recover funds stolen from investors as he continues to liquidate Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. To date, he has recovered or arrived at deals to recover $11.2B of the over $17B in principal that was stolen. Investors have gotten back almost $9.5B.

In addition to making herself available to Picard in his ongoing recovery efforts, Bongiorno must, when requested, provide testimony at deposition or trial. Picard, who is the one that sued her for over $22M, will drop the case as long as she continues to cooperate. As part of the settlement, she must pay $3.9M of stock from an account under her husband’s name.

Ex-Wall Street Executive Admits to Bilking Friends and Relatives
Andrew Caspersen has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges accusing him of defrauding relatives, friends, and Moore Charitable Foundation of $40M. Caspersen is an ex-Wall Street executive and a member of the wealthy Caspersen family. The charitable foundation he bilked belongs to billionaire hedge fund manager Louis Bacon and his investment firm Moore Capital Management.

Caspersen, 39, pleaded guilty to one charge of wire fraud and one charge of security fraud. Each criminal charge comes with a maximum term of 20 years behind bars.

Caspersen’s defense team initially argued that he was addicted to gambling and suffered from mental illness, which were what supposedly compelled him to run his multi-million dollar Ponzi-like scam. His mother, close friends, the family of an ex-girlfriend, and others were among those whom he bilked.

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At least 25,280 claimants who were the victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme can expect to receive payouts for almost $4B in losses they sustained from the fraud. For these investors, they’ve been waiting to get at least some of their money back for nearly eight years.

It was in December 2008 that Madoff’s $64.8B Ponzi scam was discovered. It turns out that the 78-year-old money manager was an equal opportunity fraudster, bilking retail investors, wealthy investors, institutional investors, celebrities, and others alike.

The nearly $4B in payouts is being overseen by Richard Breeden of the Madoff Victim Fund and is separate from the payouts issued by Irving Picard, who is the trustee in charge of compensating former customers of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

With the Madoff Victim Fund, claims include those brought by “indirect” investors whose accounts were at the hedge funds and other entities known as “feeder funds.” These funds would send investors’ money to Madoff. Thousands of victims that lost $17.5B have been seeking to avail of this fund.

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According to Fortune and Bloomberg, victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scam were able to recover 57 cents for every dollar they invested in his fake funds because there were investors who never filed claims for $2.5B of the $20B lost in the fraud.

Seeing as the deadline to file claims to recover losses from Madoff’s scheme passed nearly seven years ago, it would be too late for any of these parties to try to get that money back now.

Fortune says no one even knows where this $2.5B is, as the Madoff’s trustee only sought to recover money from claims made. Bloomberg believes that almost half of this money is owned by feeder funds that invested with Madoff. The media outlet said that a couple of Caribbean-based hedge funds are the likely investors. Bloomberg speculated that the funds may have figured that whatever they recovered on the $1.2B would have been much smaller than what they might have had to give back had they stepped forward. The owners of the other $1.3B remain unknown, but could be individual investors who had reasons for not coming forward and filing their own claims.

To date, trustee Irving Picard has paid direct investors about $9.2B. There are tens of thousands of others who, unable to file directly with Picard because they’d invested in the feeder funds, are still waiting to get some money back.

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A federal bankruptcy court has approved plans to issue $1.18B to investors who lost money in Bernard Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scam. This means that immediate distribution of the funds can take place to those whose claims for repayment have been approved by Madoff trustee Irving Picard.

This is the sixth distribution to date in the over $20B investment fraud run by Madoff, who is spending the rest of his life behind bars for his crimes. This latest round will bring the amount paid to his victims to about $91.13B. Another $320M is being held for investors whose claims are still pending or in litigation.

According to Securities Investor Protection Corp CEO Stephen Harbeck, ex-Madoff customers who invested up to $1.16M will get all of their lost funds back while those who invested more will get about 61 cents for every dollar.

Madoff, who ran his Ponzi scam for decades, used new investors’ money to pay earlier investors. He never conducted any securities trades but instead used a lot of the money to fund his lavish lifestyle. It wasn’t until 2008 that the scheme was uncovered. Thousands of retail investors, charities, celebrities, and others were among those who suffered devastating losses.

In other Madoff Ponzi scam-related news, a Washington State jury ruled that Ernst & Young is guilty of negligence because of the way it audited a feeder fund that sent money to Madoff’s company. The fund was overseen by FutureSelect Portfolio Management.

Ernst & Young audited for funds run by Rye Investment Management, which is a Tremont Group Holdings Inc. unit, and FutureSelect sued Ernst & Young in 2010 after losing over $195M in the Madoff Ponzi scam because it had invested in the Rye funds. Tremont, which is an OppenheimerFunds Inc, affiliate, already has settled charges against in this case. The terms of its settlement are confidential.

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Five ex-Aurelia Finance wealth managers have paid “substantial compensation” to resolve criminal complaints related to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scam. According to prosecutors, the Swiss-based private bank lost up to $800 million of client money that they put into the scheme.

Pascal Cattaneo, Jean Marc Weneger, Vladimir Stepczynski, Olivier Ador, and Laurent Mathysen-Gerst were charged with criminal mismanagement of the money because they put too much into a Madoff feeder fund. Among those who lost money through asset management units were Italy’s UniCredit, Santander (SAN.MC), and Swiss-based EFG International. Prosecutors claim that the ex-directors got rich on management fees, commissions, and finder fees paid for bogus returns that were never verified.

In total, the Madoff Ponzi scam cost its investors $17 billion. Those impacted included retail investors, celebrities, other wealthy private investors, and institutional investors.

Meantime, efforts to recover the money lost by Madoff’s victims continue.

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Six years after the collapse of Bernard Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scam, over $10 billion has been recovered—that’s close to 60% of the principal that went missing after his arrest in 2008. Nearly $6 billion has been paid back to investors. Trustee Irving Picard recently provided these figures in an interim report.

Thousands of investors lost $17.5 billion in principal because of Madoff’s scheme. Even as a significant amount of the money has been returned to them, billions of dollars are being kept in reserve until the securities fraud lawsuits filed by victims wanting bigger payouts are resolved.

The Securities Investor Protection Corp. has spent over $1 billion to facilitate the recovery process. Picard was tasked with recovering investors’ funds. He has worked with forensic accountants, lawyers, and others to figure out who was owed money and who should be sued for benefiting from Madoff’s Ponzi scam. He has even able to recover investor funds via hundreds of lawsuits involving the Madoff clients and banks that didn’t know they were benefiting from the fraud.

According to Richard C. Breeden, who is overseeing the US Department of Justice’s Madoff Victim Fund, he has received some 51,700 claims worth approximately $40 billion from Ponzi scam victims seeking to recover their losses. That amount is three times more than the claims submitted during the bankruptcy proceedings for Bernard L. Madoff’s firm.

The fund is responsible for giving back $4 billion in forfeited assets to claimants, including those who were indirectly impacted by the Madoff Ponzi scam, such as ” feeder funds,” banks, hedge funds, and other entities that trustee Irving Picard has denied recovery. Picard is only compensating direct investors who were harmed.

Breeden says that the amount of investors seeking recovery are twice as many as previously estimated and their claimed losses are billions of dollars greater than what was documented. Prior to an April 30 deadline, he received over 43,500 claims from those who did not submit to the bankruptcy case. More than 36,000 claims were from those who said they haven’t gotten any of their losses back.