I write to you from the waiting area outside gate T11 at what was formerly the world’s busiest airport. When I woke up this morning, I knew I was leaving what is now the 38th-largest city in the United States, arguably the economic and cultural capital of Black America, and the former home of the formerly hottest team in the National League. I knew I would be trading the misery of oppressive 90°-plus heat coupled with 90%-plus humidity for, uh, the marginally-less miserable oppressiveness of 90°-plus heat coupled with 80%-plus humidity. What I did not know before I picked up this morning’s copy of the non-hedge-fund-owned-and-gutted local newspaper was that I was also leaving a great hotbed of (alleged) alternative investments fraud, (allegedly) including on the part of a man I gave some portion of $9 to last night.

Over the span of a decade, Marietta-based investment adviser John J. Woods persuaded more than 400 investors in 20 states to trust him with their investments. He and his associates made an attractive offer: a guarantee of 6% to 7% interest for two to three years for investing in a fund called Horizon Private Equity. Investors weren’t told much about how the fund worked, only that money would be put in things like government bonds or small real estate projects…. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Woods, 56, of operating a massive Ponzi scheme. By the end of July, according to the SEC, Horizon owed investors more than $110 million in principal alone but had liquid assets worth less than $16 million….

Tuesday, a federal judge froze Woods’ assets, including his minority interest in the Chattanooga Lookouts minor league baseball team.

A Roswell man who went by the name “Quicksilver” as he enticed potential clients has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in restitution and penalties after a federal judge found he and two related companies were liable for fraud and other violations…. The CFTC alleged that more than 9,000 clients purchased access to Mayer’s trading system through two affiliated companies, Silver Star Live Software LLC of Florida and Silver Star FX LLC, which was listed in New Mexico, and went by the name Silver Star Live.

Neither Mayer nor the companies filed an answer in court to the case, and Judge J.P. Boulee issued a default judgment in late July.

For restitution, he ordered Mayer and SSLS to pay about $3.7 million and SSL to pay nearly $200,000. The judge also set civil penalties of more than $1.3 million for Mayer, nearly $9.8 million for SSLS and about $600,000 for SSL.

Marietta man accused of $110 million Ponzi scheme [AJC]
Roswell man ‘Quicksilver’ told to pay millions in fraud case [AJC]

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