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SEC Just Not That Interested In Confession Of Ponzi Schemer

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The SEC has a history of massive fuck-ups. We know this. But, to date, many of these fuck-ups have a logical explanation. Missing Madoff's multi-billion dollar scam for years and years? Bernie was just such a "captivating storyteller" that they got "distracted." The whole Allied Capital thing? They though it was that wily David Einhorn, trying to throw people off his trail! Today comes word the Commission has added another notch to this particular bedpost, via letting a guy who turned himself go off and get his MBA for a few years before charging him with fraud.

Isaac Ovid...the 24-year-old day-trading enthusiast and church minister...had been entrusted with investing nearly $10 million of his parishioners' money in the spring of 2005. He soon lost or spent nearly all of it, and then compounded his errors by starting a Ponzi scheme, raising $3 million in new money, some of which was used to partially repay initial investors before he lost a pile of the rest. Devastated, in November 2005, he appeared before the congregation, the Local Christian Assembly in Queens, and begged for forgiveness. A few weeks later, Mr. Ovid turned himself in to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Justice Department.

But rather than arresting and charging Mr. Ovid, the feds let him go free, according to a recent review of his case file by Crain's. Mr. Ovid returned to his native Trinidad, where he enrolled in an M.B.A. program and got a job at a construction management firm. It wasn't until three years later—while on a business trip to Florida in March 2009—that Mr. Ovid was arrested. This time, the government threw its full weight at him. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn charged him and four associates with three counts of fraud and conspiracy, and the SEC filed a lawsuit.

Feds Let Ponzi Schemer Walk [Crain's]



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