Head trader and Wharton grad

In its unending quest to prove something, for the second time today the SEC has ruined a good thing. First, it was a firm trying to raise money to get its sex-themed cruises off the ground. Now, it’s Gryhpon Financial, whose management team faces securities and wire fraud. The individuals possibly going away for up to twenty years each include Kenneth Marsh, 43, Baldwin Anderson, 55, Robert Anthony Budion, 28, Jeanne Lada, 44 and James T. Levier, 34. Those names won’t mean anything to the investors who got taken for a ride for more than $17.5 million, because the firm used fake names, claiming it was run by president “Michael Warren” and vice-president “Kenneth Maseka” (the latter fictional character’s pedigree included degrees from Harvard, Oxford, Columbia and Wharton and job with Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs). Other (awesome) facts about the firm that turned out to be untrue included:

* An office building “in the heart of the financial world at 110 Wall St., 11th Floor.” The actual office can be found at 3767 Victory Blvd., next to a martial arts school and a bakery.

* Props from George Soros, who is quoted as saying: “Alone, the Gryphon Financial are incredible, together they are unstoppable.”

* Props from the FT. From Gryphon’s website:

The Wolf begins to circle, claws of black steel, a beast approaches, fur as dark as night, eyes glowing red, fangs from the pit of hell itself. The Giant Wolf sniffing, savoring the scent of the meat to come – its not fear that grips them, only heightened sense of things and the anticipation of millions to be made.

Financial Times Reports – this secret group has identified as the latest hedge fund to exploit the weakening sub prime markets – pounding stocks down to nothing and making billions along the way, one hedge fund run by this group had been rammed to see returns of over 1000% in 2007. Together we beat up hedge funds that are said to have realized over 20 million from one trade.

* A ten-man trading desk (which Gryphon’s newsletter describes as being key members of its “hardcore business”)

* Huge-ass returns: “One client, who shelled out $100,000, allegedly was told that a “similarly situated” investor earned a return of 1,600 percent. And Gryphon trumpeted that its investments were ‘up 1,324 percent in total compounding returns in the last 16 years,’ when in fact Gryphon was only formed in 2005.”

Now, thanks to the SEC we can kiss marketing materials like this good-bye:

According to the SEC complaint, Gryphon marketed “exclusive investment opportunities” under monikers such as “Wolves of Wall Street,” “Pure Profit,” “Inner Circle” and “Mafia Trader.” Gryphon described itself as the “World’s No. 1 Investment Newsletter.”

Thank you, Mary Schapiro.

98 comments (hidden for your protection)
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Comments (98)

  1. Posted by PermaGuest | April 20, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Were the traders on Gryphon’s Hardcore desk customers of McGinn, Smith & Co.? That would explain the whole cruise thing…

  2. Posted by Anon | April 20, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    living the dream

  3. Posted by BSD | April 20, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    @1 No – they were employed by MS&Co. for the hardcore cruise.

  4. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    fuckers.

    -jorge soros

  5. Posted by 100000 crickets | April 20, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    That’s a very angry doggy. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot did DK do to him?

  6. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    I guess my interview there next week is canceled.

    -UT grad

  7. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Is it weird that even after knowing it’s a scam I still kinda want to give these guys my money?

  8. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Well, they liked me and my presentation on “speed lines” and the Elliot Wave which I think Ms. Dupre saw from time too time.

    ~#2 in in my MBA class at the Mays School of Bidness, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, America.

  9. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Hey!!….What’s the problem with you pissy investors? You either “get it” or you don’t.

    ~Jeff Skilling
    Celly, CO

  10. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    they are from staten island!!! represent represent

  11. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    @7 = Former ACA Portfolio Manager

  12. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    pretty bad grammar. the Soros quote could be real.

    ps, everybody knows that Jack Gates is the only true Wolf of Wall Street

  13. Posted by HeywoodJablome | April 20, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    all the charts on the site are from stockcharts. one of the most ridiculous thing i have ever read.

  14. Posted by HeywoodJablome | April 20, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Awesome wolf pack strategy…You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack… it grew by one. So there… there were two of us in the wolf pack… I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later. And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought, “Wait a second, could it be?” And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast!

  15. Posted by Extickerpimp | April 20, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    Losing only $17.5mm is the new “killing it”

  16. Posted by Sir George | April 20, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    Actually, Ms. Levin, you should be thanking me and Lord Benton. Being the gentlemen that we are, you’re quite welcome on behalf of Queen Mary.

    Glad you approve!

    http://www.sec.gov

  17. Posted by Anonymous | April 20, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    These guys have exactly the same address, on the same floor:

    http://guerriero.vpweb.com/

  18. Posted by CalGoldenBear | April 20, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    @17, that is the most fraudulent website I’ve ever seen. Those kids can barely shave and they’re claiming to have 13 years of industry experience.

  19. Posted by trojan | April 21, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    “One member, a retired dentist used this strategy to make $3.25 million on a crashing blue chip in a matter of days, and if that wasn’t enough he came back and did it again and made $1.7 BILLION.”

    fucking awesome.

  20. Posted by Movie Buff | April 21, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    Just so y’all know…Wolves of Wall Street is actually quite the indie film…google it. Nice to know these guys were versed in their gay werewolf classics.

  21. Posted by awesomeblossom | April 21, 2010 at 7:24 AM

    @17
    The best quote from their site is this:
    “Joseph Anthony Guerriero has developed into one of the most prominent figures to ever come through the ranks of the Elite G Trainning Program.”

    Sign me up for that!

  22. Posted by american bandersnatch | April 21, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    @19 – There’s got to be a satire defense in there somewhere. The Manka site seemed more real.

  23. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 8:09 AM

    “Staten Island–where brain cells go to die.”
    3 guys named Vinnie

  24. Posted by Nuppals | April 21, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    I hear LeBouef had a run in Gryphon, however, his returns were too kick ass.

  25. Posted by american bandersnatch | April 21, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    @CalGoldenBear – How could it be fraudulent? Joseph Anthony Guerriero is a well known success “eventually edging his name in stone industry wide”.

  26. Posted by Lord Benton | April 21, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    Thank you for the J.A.G. tip, guys.

    http://www.usdoj.gov

  27. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    I consider myself a wolfpack of one….

  28. Posted by Doh! | April 21, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    Would someone please donkey-punch these fuckers?

  29. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Sounds like a bunch of boiler room guidos like Stratton Oakmont, seriously was anyone stupid enough to invest with these guys…

  30. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    LOVE IT:

    You will go broke without us guaranteed, Wolves of Wall Street main focus is always on the short side.

    Triple your money with a BIG FAT SMILE ON YOUR FACE!

  31. Posted by AIG TRader | April 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    We should have invested more.

  32. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    @18 Agreed…”edging his name in stone”? Did they mean etching? As soon as I read that, I saw “scam” in red…

    not 17

  33. Posted by guest | April 21, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Do you think the FBI and IRS will have time swing by downtown to pick these guys up after they’re finished with Espada this morning?

  34. Posted by bobinthehook | April 21, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    #17- Don’t make fun of these powerful investors. They give back to the community via Fellowships. They gave the prestigious ‘Nappi’fellowship to a well deserving black guy. http://guerriero.vpweb.com/2010FellowshipsAwarded.html

    Next year they will award the prestigious “Honky” fellowship to a white guy.

  35. Posted by guest | April 21, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    quote Gryphon used was ripped directly from the movie 300 and I think it’s a fairly safe assumption that the wolf theme was lifted from that same scene.

  36. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    @14 nicely done… in the face! in.. the… face!

  37. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    @34 FTW

    I got an interview for the prestigious summer internship position… I can’t wait!

  38. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    @17 – good find. wow – crazy find. i thought that website was some sort of joke or something, until i called them and some chick with the hottest staten island accent picked up the phone. i got myself a date for friday night…thanks again 17

  39. Posted by Anonymous | April 21, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Does anyone not get the humor in the math on this site? These guys are telling you that they have people making hundreds of % gains in shorts. They don’t seem to understand that you can only make 100% on your money if the short goes to 0 and not a bp more. The Wolf Pack Pounced at 24 and covahed at 4 for a cool 600% return. Uh no boys, you didn’t.

    In a few places their site makes reference to using leverage, but the math seems to add up to the inverse % gains, the most rookie mistake imaginable when calculating gains. What retail investor is given 10x leverage on his short positions these days? We’re not in 2007 and Lehman is long out of business.

  40. Posted by Edward Driffield | April 21, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    Just checked out the sites in question. Haven’t laughed this hard in a while!

  41. Posted by Anonymous | April 22, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    If you look at “Thomas Anthony Guerriero” history he has been at 11 different firms in the last 9 years…..

  42. Posted by PeterM | May 1, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    APRIL 30,2010
    TO ALL WHO GOT DEFRAUDED BY GRYPHON DAILY AKA GRYPHON FINANCIAL.
    The gathering of evidence for the criminal charges against Gryphon is being handled by the United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.) Postal Inspector by the name of Edward Gallashaw (718-348-3738). The U.S. Attorney in New York is the prosecutor in the criminal case against Gryphon. The Securities Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) is handling the civil case against Gryphon. All three agencies are working together in the case.
    It is suggested that those who want to be on the list of claimants against Gryphon for return of any of the money that was paid for purchasing any of the programs offered by Gryphon contact the Postal Inspector during the week between the hours of 9:00AM and 5:00PM eastern time. Be prepared to answer questions about when, who, what and how much at the time you phone him. Your name will be on the list of claimants and you will receive a letter from the U.S.P.S. Postal Inspector after you have spoken with him. The letter will have a tracking number for identification and you will be kept up to date as to the progress of the case. Were you to move, it is suggested you contact the Postal Inspector and give your new address. The case may take a few years to get settled, so don’t expect to be receiving any money quickly as it will not happen that fast. The gathering of evidence is important to the prosecution as the more information that is known the more likely it is that the case will have enough evidence to proceed to trial. The sooner the evidence is gathered the more likelihood there is for a court date to be given sooner, although there is no guarantee as the government has a lot of cases and each one has to wait its turn.
    I was also defrauded by Gryphon and that is why I am posting this message. I want people to know what to do to try and get their money back. I will give you the web site for the S.E.C. document for you to read and you will learn a lot about the charges and the people who were charged. It is a pdf document and has 31 pages so that is why I am not posting the entire document on this site. All one has to do is click and copy the link to the address bar and then press enter and you will be at the site which takes a little time to load up. Then you can save it or print it. There are a lot of elderly people who were defrauded by Gryphon and it is hoped that they will be found and receive a refund of all or at least part of the money they lost buying the programs from Gryphon. Here is the S.E.C. site:
    http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2010/comp-pr2010-61.pdf

  43. Posted by nc | May 13, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    I suffered personally losing $400,000 through “Michael Warren”‘s trading…

    This is the most difficult thing to admit…

    If there is anything I can do to support with evidence, I’ll be delighted to help…

    Just ask by leaving a comment on this website…

    nc

  44. Posted by marc antoine charpentier | May 30, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    It’s quite possible to gain 600% on a short position with derivatives. All I ever paid them for was advice, and what little I got was worthwhile. Guess I won’t be getting any more.

  45. Posted by bernhardgrosser | June 3, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    I myself had used the elite option subscription for research ideas. Do have to say that this started in Feb 2010. Being a registered stock broker i do use various research papers to aid me in finding companies or ideas that may work for me and my clients. However, I never hold anything as gospel. During the time that I received info I had tracked the progress of those options and seems that the picks did work on some 70%. Gains had been set by myself and client risk tolerance though.

    Like brain surgery it does take a professional to watch things. If an individual investor wants to handle things themselves then I may suggest that they at least get a pro to review the portfolios with them annually. They can get this done by paying a one time fee to the broker. Not everyone is willing to stay in-front of a computer screen during market hours and make portfolio adjustments. However, with this market you need to do just that since things change so fast and may continue to do so for some time to come.

    One word of advise. If you are going to give you money to someone then at least make sure that they are licensed stock brokers. You can do this by going to FINRA.ORG and reviewing at least 10 years of that persons history along with any complains and fines. This can also be done for the companies they belong to. If my doctor or accountant does not have a license that i can track then i will look for another.

  46. Posted by investor | June 18, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Spoke to Mike Stern and Baldwin Anderson several times. They told me about great expectations and weekly phone calls that never happened. Paid $999 for Daily options trader that became $99. Then about $5,000 for the VIP. Then after 4/16/2010 nothing. Hope we get some $ back and they do the time.

  47. Posted by scammed | July 31, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    I too became a victim of these creeps back in 2009.
    I hope these con artists loose all of their money and get long jail sentenses.
    I do not fall for these scams, but this one, for some reason, they had their act down… and I went down with it.

  48. Posted by PETERM | October 29, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    To anyone who was scammed by Gryphon Financial and lost money buying their programs. Contact the the U.S. Postal Inspector in New York by the name of Edward Gallashaw at (718)348-8738 (office) or 646-423-9391 (cell) and learn what you can do to become a claimant in the case against Gryphon and against the officers of Gryphon all of whom are being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice under case number 2010R00826 in the Eastern District of New York at the United States Federal Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyun, NY.

  49. Posted by PETERM | October 29, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    To anyone who was scammed by Gryphon Financial and lost money buying their programs. Contact the the U.S. Postal Inspector in New York by the name of Edward Gallashaw at (718)348-8738 (office) or 646-423-9391 (cell) and learn what you can do to become a claimant in the case against Gryphon and against the officers of Gryphon all of whom are being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice under case number 2010R00826 in the Eastern District of New York at the United States Federal Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyun, NY.

  50. Posted by Gary | December 28, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    I was duped and scorned and ripped off by the Gryphon group. I’d have to go back through my records, but the name John Gauge or Gage comes to mind. These folks need to be scrutinized by some authority. What they did is a shame. “Michael Warren” has foul, abusive speech, and John Gage threatened to fire me when I ripped him for lousy work. I reminded him that it was I who did the hiring. How pathetic. I hope they can make some restitution, receive some forgiveness and apply themselves in a better way. They hurt me a great deal.

  51. Posted by JD | March 23, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    I am ashamed to admit that I as well was a victim to this scam. I can recall talking with “baldwin Anderson” on the phone many time. I was already subscribed, but tried getting me to sign up for the “Special” opportunity stocks that Michael Warren did. I would have to put up $10k or more to take advantage of the great opportunity. Luckily I didn’t. I am extemely happy that these guys finally got what’s coming to them. Maybe they can give some fake stock tips in exchange for rape while in prison.

  52. Posted by Terrinorton | April 21, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    Theresa
    They are in jail awaiting trial for fraud. Hope this helps a little.

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