As was expected, the Justice Department announced just now that is has charged 500 people in its "largest-ever crackdown on scam artists." According to officials, the losses cost victims millions in some cases with the total tab coming to $8.3 billion "These are staggering, staggering numbers," Attorney General Eric Holder said. But you know what hurts more than the money? The lost of trust. Never again will these people be able to believe a money manager when he promises huge ass returns or when he says he has no idea why that tramp was sending him nude text messages. Thus, the name of the 3.5 month long investigation was appropriately named: Operation Broken Trust.
All of these victims can tell a tragic and cautionary story of being misled and exploited – often by someone they trusted. In fact, many of the scam artists we’ve identified were preying on their own neighbors – and on the most vulnerable members of their communities. Several of those prosecuted during this operation solicited victim investors from their own churches. One man in Texas allegedly targeted his fellow parishioners, asking them to invest with him and claiming that his success in foreign exchange trading was “a blessing from God.”
With this operation, the task force is sending two messages. A message to the public: be alert for these frauds, take appropriate measures to protect yourself, and report such schemes to proper authorities when they occur. And a second message to anyone operating or attempting to operate an investment scam: we will use every tool at our disposal to find you, to stop you, and to bring you to justice. Cheating investors out of their earnings and savings is no longer a safe business plan.