Ponzi Scheme

Bernie Madoff brought new meaning to this term by defrauding investors out of $50 billion. A Ponzi scheme is a scam which promises investors high returns – in Madoff’s case, as much as 12%-15% - with little risk. Effectively, though, Peter is robbed to pay Paul as no investments made and early investors are paid out of the money put in by those who join later. Eventually the scheme collapses when the wave of investors dries up and there’s not enough money to go around. However, in Madoff’s case, his scheme might have gone undetected had his fund not faced a whooping $7 billion in redemptions.

The Best Financial Planning Resources are Affordable and Far Removed from Wall Street

Laurence Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics and Boston University. Professor Kotlikoff is one of the nation’s leading experts on fiscal policy, national saving and personal finance. 

Professor Kotlikoff is the author or co-author of 15 books and he publishes extensively in newspapers, magazines and blogs on issues of personal finance, financial reform, taxes,...


Alleged Ponzi Scheme Could Impact Charitable Gift Annuity Market

Robert Dillie allegedly operated a fraudulent foundation from 1996 to 2001. The foundation involved a ponzi scheme that issued $55 million in gift annuities to over 400 donors. As a result of the case, the Federal Court of Appeals has concluded that gift annuities are investment contracts under federal securities laws. The Court's conclusion will likely have a meaningful impact on the marketing activities of charitable foundations that are actively promoting gift annuities. Source: On...

SEC Puts Stop to Ponzi Scheme Focused on Elderly in the Detroit Area

The SEC put a stop to a $50 million real estate focused Ponzi scheme that targeted elderly investors in the Detroit area. John Bravata and Richard Trabulsy apparently lured more than 400 elderly investors with the promise of safe 8% - 12% returns. Many of the investors were solicited with " free lunch " seminars. The reality of the situation, however, was very different than what was promised: The men “lied” to prospective investors about the use of funds and spent $7.2 million...
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