One criticism of the Securities and Exchange Commission is that after having done not such a “great” job as a regulator over the past decade or so, it’s been going after small time, easily nailed crooks in order to justify its existence. Five, ten, fifty million dollar Ponzi schemes and the like that sound nice for the SEC to say have been taken down but have basically no impact on the global financial market whether they live or die. Along the way the Commission has started to get its confidence back. And then some.
Take the case of John Scott Clark. The SEC charged him yesterday with running a $47 million Ponzi scheme from March 2006 to last September, raising $15 million from three hedge fund managers during the last month of his scam after promising them 80 percent returns. Normally the agency wouldn’t comment on much more than the nature of the crime and the charges. In this case, though, now that they’ve put their small time sheriff pants on, a spokesman elaborated.
“He’s what we would call ‘shiny,’” said the SEC’s Thomas Melton. “He looks like a salesman. You might buy a snowmobile from him.”
Would you now? And tell us about what he JSC spent his ill-gotten gains on, Tom.
Melton said Monday all that’s left of the haul is about $4 million in cash, plus Clark’s collection of fancy cars, expensive furniture, a snowmobile, a $25,000 home theater system, and “bad art.”
Did Melton add, with pride, that once he got Clark in his office, he told him: “I don’t like your jerk-off name. I don’t like your jerk-off face. I don’t like your jerk-off behavior, and I don’t like you, jerk-off”? Likely.
Ponzi Scheme Hits Mystery Hedge Funds [MW]