Yesterday in Connecticut, a man named Michael Goldberg pleaded guilty to conning 300 investors out of around $100 million over a 12 year period. And while his scheme may not have been as "sophisticated" as, say, Bernie Madoff's, while Goldberg didn't pretend to trade in an office on the 31st floor of the Lipstick Building for several decades, it still deserves some style points. Consider just a few of the elements:
* Goldberg told would-be investors that he had a relative who could guarantee him millions on deals that "flipped" diamonds.
* "Later, Goldberg claimed that a fraternity brother could guarantee him enormous profits by setting him up as the middleman in the sales of the assets of distressed businesses, according to investigative and bankruptcy court records."
* "At the time of his arrest a year ago, Goldberg was driving a used Mercedes Benz and was a partner in liquor stores in Cromwell and Glastonbury."
* "He also ran a business through which he aspired to represent up-and-coming pop musicians."
But nooooo, all the trustee can focus on is how Goldberg doesn't stack up compared to Berns et al, passing what really seems to be an unnecessary amount of judgement.
"In stark contrast to the more complex fraudulent schemes unmasked in the recent wave of high-profile Ponzi schemes such as those perpetrated by Bernard Madoff, Manhattan Investment Fund Limited, Allen Stanford, Scott Rothstein, Mark Drier LLP and the Bayou Fund (to name a few), the Goldberg scheme did not involve any legitimate, actual business or investment activity … All the funds used to pay investors came from other investors," a suit filed by the trustee said.