Ponzi schemes

One piece of financial advice that is well known among the cognoscenti but less obvious to some folks in Florida is that you can do 90% of your investment due diligence just by looking at a fund’s name. The tricky thing is that the scale sort of wraps around, like so:
(1) Name that specifies how safe it is (“Global Securities Safety-First Principal Protection Ultra-Conservative Fund”) = probably a Ponzi scheme;
(2) Mythological figure, geological feature, wealthy neighborhood, etc. = you’re good, past performance should predict future returns;
(3) Word from Tolkien = dealer’s choice;
(4) Name that specifies how unsafe it is (“Death Star,” “Terrible Ideas Investment Management”) = probably not a great sign but maybe?

White Elephant Trading Co. LLC Conservative Fixed Income Fund” is the first case I have ever seen of flunking at both ends – it is both “an object, scheme, business venture, facility, etc., considered to be without use or value” and a Conservative Fixed Income Fund. It was also the dream of one Gurudeo “Buddy” Persaud, who promised* investors high and stable returns with one teeny little catch: Read more »

Allen Stanford Has No Idea What You’re Talking About

“I didn’t run a Ponzi scheme, I didn’t defraud anybody, and there was never any intent to defraud anybody,” Mr. Stanford, wearing a green prison jumpsuit, told U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner before he was sentenced [to 110 years in prison]. [WSJ]

  • 14 Jun 2012 at 1:28 PM

Bernie Madoff Is Still The King

Though it looked like Sir Allen Stanford might dethrone him with a recommended sentence of 230 years… Read more »

April 7, 2009: The then Sir Allen Stanford chokes back tears over being deprived of being named Forbes’ 405th richest person in the world as a result of the Ponzi charges (which he described as “baloney” and told a reporter using the dirty word, “If you say Ponzi to my face again, I will punch you in the mouth”). Read more »

Remember Nevin Shapiro? He’s the guy we named the Greatest Ponzi Schemer of All Time last August, over all other Ponzi schemers, Bernie included. While Madoff would have won if we were judging based on size alone, we weren’t. Shapiro took home the title because 1) with his ill-gotten gains, he made a name for himself in the University of Miami community and 2) he subsequently kicked things up a notch after being sent to jail, where he chose to fuck the Hurricanes’ football program raw, detailing the boatloads of prostitutes he bought for players (“I had the boat for prostitution situations”), the lavish meals he would treat them to at Benihanas, the “hit of the game” (Shapiro “put bounties on specific players, including Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and a three-year standing bounty on Seminoles quarterback Chris Rix from 2002 to 2004, offering $5,000 to any player who knocked him out of a game”) and the dancer he gave $500 to have an abortion after she got knocked up by one of the athletes who he kept in the dark about the pregnancy (“I was doing him a favor–that idiot might have wanted to keep [the baby]“). Anyway, Nevs was pretty, pretty, pretty angry that none of his so-called boys stuck by him after the Ponzi charges came out, hence the disclosing of the hookers, etc and, apparently, he’s not finished letting everyone know how he feels. Read more »

Not sure how many people here know this, but there’s an old saying that when one is running on Ponzi scheme, one needs total focus. It’s a lot of work defrauding investors and while some activities by your staff are tolerable (smoking weed in every corner of the office, as well as the parking garage and the courtyard out back and having sex with prostitutes on the desk), a line must be drawn at those which create unacceptable distractions, like dealing said pot and purveying said prosties. If that doesn’t make any sense or you’re confused at the finely drawn distinction, perhaps convicted Ponzster Scott Rothstein, who was deposed on the matter today, can shed some light. Read more »

Barbara Walters told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that she interviewed Madoff for two hours at the prison in Butner, N.C., where he’s serving a 150-year sentence. No cameras were allowed in the prison. Walters said Madoff told her he thought about suicide before being sent to prison, but since he’s been there he no longer thinks about it. Walters quoted Madoff as saying: “I feel safer here (in prison) than outside. I have people to talk to, no decisions to make. I know I will die in prison. I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear. Now, I have no fear because I’m no longer in control.” [AP, earlier]