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Feb 2016 - The Ponzi Scheme Blog

The Ponzi Scheme Blog

Posted by Kathy Bazoian Phelps
Below is a summary of the activity reported for February 2016. The reported stories reflect: 10 guilty pleas or convictions in pending cases; over 108 years of newly imposed sentences for people involved in Ponzi schemes; at least 10 new Ponzi schemes worldwide involving more than $8.6 billion; and an average age of approximately 53 for the alleged Ponzi schemers. Please feel free to post comments about these or other Ponzi schemes that I may have missed. And please remember that I am just relaying what’s in the news, not writing or verifying it.
Terina K. Carney aka Terina Humphey, 50, was sentenced to 3 years in prison for her role in a Ponzi scheme to which she plead guilty. Carney ran the scheme through her company, Riverside Lease LLC, and told investors that their money would go to a business as a short term loan while the business awaited funding from a bank. Carney took in about $700,000 and kept about $400,000 of that amount for herself.
Whileon Chay, 39, and his company, 4X Solutions, Inc., were ordered to pay about $10 million in penalties and disgorgement in connection with a commodities scheme. Chay and 4X solicited $4.8 million from at least 10 participants, promising them 24% to 36% returns per year.
Fred Davis Clark Jr., 57, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in an alleged $300 million Ponzi scheme run through Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas. The court also ordered Clark to forfeit $303.8 million for defrauding a bank and $3.3 million for obstructing the SEC’s investigation. The scheme, which took in more than $300 million from about 1,400 investors, offered returns for investments in the development of luxury resorts.
David Richard Dance, 64, was sentenced to 4 years in prison for a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 10 victims out of $3.2 million. Dance was an "exchange facilitator" who purportedly held money for people that had sold investment properties until they reinvested the money in other properties. Dance invested the money with a developer, Brett Amendola, who defrauded Dance.
Rebekah E. Fairchild, 53, and Rebekah L. Riddell, 30, pleaded guilty to charges relating to their role in a $30 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 450 investors. Fairchild is the sister of William Apostelos, 54, and Riddell is her daughter. They were the receptionist and administrative assistant in Apostelos’ scheme. Apostelos and his wife, Connie Apostelos aka Connie Coleman, 50, are free on bond while they await their criminal trial. The Apostelos operated many companies, including WMA Enterprises LLC, Midwest Green Resources LLC, Roan Capital, Coleman Capital Inc., and Silver Bridle Racing LLC.
Sidney M. Field was ordered to pay up to $16 million in reimbursements and penalties for his role in the $1.76 billion Medical Capital Holdings Inc. Ponzi scheme. The scheme had involved the sale of promissory notes with a promise that the money would be used to fund the medical device business.
John Fox, owner of Premier Cru dba Fox Ortega Enterprises, filed for bankruptcy while the FBI continues to investigate the wine entrepreneur. Premier Cru filed bankruptcy last month listing $70 million in debts owed to more than 9,000 customers and only about $6.8 million in wine inventory. Fox filed for bankruptcy this month claiming zero to $50,000 in assets and $50 million to $100 million in debts. Premier Cru sold wine at very low prices to customers who were willing to wait for future delivery or would pay "pre-arrival" of the wine. The wines were supposedly rare wines that were still in the bottling process. The trustee in the Premier Cru has confirmed that there are about 35,000 bottles of wine and that American Express is the largest creditor since it refunded charges made by customers for wines they did not receive.
Robert Allen Helms and Janniece S. Kaelin were indicted on charges that they ran an $18 million Ponzi scheme through Vendetta Royalty Partners Ltd. and Iron Rock Royalty Partners LP. The alleged scheme defrauded at least 80 investors and involved oil and gas royalties which the companies had supposedly acquired, but which they had not. The indictment alleges that Vendetta transferred $2 million to Haley Oil Co., which Helms and Kaelin controlled. Haley Oil then transferred the money back to Vendetta.
Allen R. Hess, 51, was arrested on allegations that he ran an alleged Ponzi scheme by convincing investors to invest in oil overseas. Hess pretended to be a knowledgeable investor to convince the investors to invest in his scheme.
Jason Keryc, 38, was sentenced to 9 years in prison and ordered to pay $179 million in restitution for his role in the Agape World Inc. Ponzi scheme that defrauded about 5,000 investors. Keryc had been convicted by a jury and was found to have helped bring in more than $611 million from about 1,600 investors into the scheme. Keryc took about $9 million in commissions. The scheme, run by Nicholas Cosmo, defrauded more than 3,800 investors out of more than $370 million. Cosmo is currently serving his 25 year prison term.
Tanisha Melvin, Ambert Mathias, and Marcia Caulder pleaded guilty to charges in connection with a Ponzi scheme run through Smith Advertising run by Gary Truman Smith. The three woman admitted to creating false invoices which allowed Smith to bring in new investors to pay off investors who wanted to get out of the scheme.
Frederick E. Monroe Jr., 59, was sentenced to 5 1/3 to 16 years in prison for his involvement in $5 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than a dozen investors. Monroe was a vice president at Capital Financial Planning, where he had wealthy clients invest millions of dollars with him.
James E. Neilsen, 55, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme through Neilsen Financial Services and Ulysses Partners, LLC. The scheme defrauded investors out of more than $1.6 million and had promised investors returns of 9% to 10.5%.
Gina Palasini, 54, who is awaiting sentencing in connection with a Ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a bad check charge. Palasini’s scheme involved her claims that her companies helped clients obtain veterans affairs and Medicaid benefits.
Robert Rocco, 48, was sentenced to 51 months in prison after pleading guilty to running a $5 million Ponzi scheme through his company Limestone Capital Services. Limestone purportedly provided wholesale financing of cigarette purchases for a tobacco shop on a Native American Reservation. The company also supposedly provided credit card services to retail users seeking to purchase cigarettes from the Reservation. Investors were promised returns of 15% to 18%. More than two dozen investors were defrauded in the scheme. Rocco also defrauded at least one victim through his other company, Advent Equity Partners.
Jonathan E. Rosenberg, 47, pleaded guilty to his involvement in a $148 million Ponzi scheme. Robert Feldman, 68, and Douglas A. Kuber, 55, previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the scheme. Richard Shusterman, 53, has pleaded not guilty. The scheme involved Rosenberg’s and Kuber’s company, Account Receivable Services LLC, which contracted with Feldman’s company, International Portfolio, Inc., to purchase and collect accounts receivable from hospitals. IPI acquired the accounts receivable, bundled them into investment portfolios, and then sold the portfolios to ARS at a discounted rate. Rosenberg owned three other companies that also recruited investors for medical accounts receivable portfolios - JER Receivables, LLC; International Portfolio Access, LLC; and Receivable Partners, LLC.
Michael Schmidt, 60, was sentenced to 3 years in prison for defrauding 30 victims out of more than $744,000. Schmidt told his investors that they were investing in Toner Depot, a business which had contracts with Tennessee Eastman Company.
Michael Skupin, 54, was charged with possession of child sexually abusive materials, larceny and racketeering in connection with a Ponzi scheme he was running as a gifting scheme called Pay It Forward. Victims would make $10,000 cash investments and would eventually be paid out of new investors’ money. Skupin’s computer was searched in connection with the investigation, which led to the child pornography charges. Skupin maintains his innocence in connection with the charges.
Jerry Stauffer, 67, was convicted in connection with a $1.8 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded about 15 investors. Stauffer promised investors 5% returns but instead used their money for personal expenses and to pay returns to investors.
United Development Funding was raided by the FBI on allegations that it was running a $1 billion Ponzi scheme. After the raid, the publicly traded shares of United Development Funding IV fell more than 50%. The allegation is that the company created new real estate investment funds to pay investors in old real estate investment funds.
Charles S. Wang, 53, and Qian Cathy Zhang, 53, were ordered to disgorge $2.019 million and pay civil penalties in connection with the eAdGear Holdings Limited and eAdGear Inc. scheme. Francis Y. Yuen, 54, and Laurata P. Chan, 55, were ordered to disgorge $1.571 million.
Sydney "Jack" Williams, 67, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for evading bank reporting requirements. The sentence was the same given to his wife, Lorie Ann Williams, for trying to conceal assets in a bankruptcy case resulting from their involvement in the $930 million Nevin Shapiro Ponzi scheme. Williams had been paid $12 million in commissions and fees in connection with the scheme, but was not charged criminally in connection with that scheme. He had, however, previously received a one year sentence for failing to report $6.4 million in taxes. They withdrew just under $10,000 at a time to avoid reporting the cash withdrawals from their bank accounts.
The alleged Ponzi scheme run by Gunter Lang, 75, has collapsed. Lang was an unlicensed financial trader who lost about $7 million of investor funds. It is believed that 32 investors invested with Lang, who used the online platform, IG Markets.
A judge found that Arena Capital, traded as BlackfortEx, was running a "simple Ponzi scheme." Arena Capital, which has been in receivership since last May, has about 1110 clients who are owed about $7 million. Arena was run by Jimmie McNicholl, and the company was shut down last May.
Doris Elizabeth Nelson, 56, was fined $37 million for her Ponzi scheme run through Little Loan Shoppe. The scheme defrauded 121 investors who invested $19 million. The scheme promised investors returns of 40% to 60%. Nelson pleaded guilty in 2014 and was sentenced to 9 years in prison. Nelson was fined 8.5 million for the money lost by investors and another $18.5 million in penalties.
Chinese authorities accused Ezubao Ltd. and its parent, Yucheng International Holdings Group Ltd. of running a Ponzi scheme. Ezubo was an online peer-to-peer financing platform that pitched high-yield investments. Twenty-one executives, including founder Ding Ning, 34, and former Ezubao president Zhang Min, were arrested on suspicion of defrauding at least 900,000 investors out of $7.6 billion. Two excavators were used to uncover about 1,200 account books. Investors were promised annual returns, ranging from 9% to 14.6%.
CWM FX took in about $73 million from investors who had been promised monthly returns of 5%. CWM FX was an online foreign exchange trading partner of Chelsea Football Club. The defrauded victims consisted of about 450 Gurkhas and Nepalese community members.
Jolan Marc Saunders, 39, Michael Dean Strubel, 54, and Spencer Mitchell Steinberg, 46, were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud investors through Saunder’s company, Saunders Electrical Wholesale Ltd. Strubel was found guilty of abetting Saunders by soliciting investors. They represented that the company was supplying electrical goods to respected hotel chains and that it had a contract with the Olympic Village for the 2012 London Olympic Games. The scheme involved £45 million.
Peter Pimley, 67, and his wife Wendy Pimley, 60, were accused of running a Ponzi-like scheme that defrauded more than a dozen investors.
Geoffrey William Langdale, 64, who is already serving a 6 year prison sentence, was banned from the Insolvency Service when it was determined that he dishonestly obtained £2.3 million from clients. Langdale ran the fraud through his company, Langdale Accountants Limited, and told investors their funds would be invested in a high interest bearing savings account and could be withdrawn on 90 days’ notice.
Allegations were made that Freedom 251 smartphone is a Ponzi scheme. The phone, being sold for $3.67, is being touted as the world’s cheapest smartphone, causing some to say it is too good to be true.
Kamalakant Dhupati, the director of Adarsh Group, was arrested on charges that he ran a Rs 50 crore Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors.
Aviv Talmor, the controlling shareholder of Utrade, was arrested on charges that he defrauded 600 clients in an investment program. Utrade, which had no license for managing investment portfolios, allegedly made false presentations to persuade clients to invest. The investors were provided access to a virtual account that falsely represented the amount in the account. It is believed that there are about $12 million of losses.
Patrizio Benvenuti, an Argentine Vatican priest, was accused of running a $34 million Ponzi scheme along with Christian Ventisette. Benvenuti was put under house arrest in Italy earlier this month, and Ventisette was arrested in Madrid. Benvenuti held dinners, boasting of his Vatican connections, and persuaded about 300 million to put money in an investment fund and to donate to charity. The scheme was discovered when Benvenuti’s housekeeper started receiving paperwork at her home referring to a trust that had been set up in her name. Police have seized property, bank accounts and other items worth $11 million, including a luxurious Tuscan villa.
Sim Tee Peng, 39, was sentenced to 7 years and 5 month in prison in connection with a Ponzi scheme that took about $1.8 million from 21 victims. Peng took money from individuals who believed they were paying conveyancing fees in connection with their purchase of properties.
The Seventh Circuit upheld the 50 year prison sentence of Timothy Durham. U.S. v. Durham, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1780 (7th Cir. Feb. 3, 2016). Durham had been convicted in connection with his Fair Finance Co. Ponzi scheme that defrauded 5,000 investors out of $200 million. The Seventh Circuit had previously ordered the lower court to re-sentence Durham when it found that the government presented insufficient evidence to support $300,000 in alleged transfers. The lower court then found that this wouldn’t have made a difference in the length of the sentence.
The trustees of the Fairfield Sentry funds were denied their attempt to intervene in a proposed $55 million settlement between PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and a class of investors relating to the Bernard Madoff scheme.
The trustee of the Bernard Madoff scheme sought to block a proposed $64 billion class action lawsuit against Jeffry Picower, asserting that the class action is barred by a 2011 settlement. The complaint had previously been dismissed as being derivative of the trustees claims, but the plaintiffs now contend they have direct claims.
The trustee in the Bernard Madoff case asked permission to amend his complaint against accountant Steven Mendelow so that he can add allegations that Mendelow knew that Madoff was not making stock trades. Rather, the trustee alleges that Mendelow received "special financial benefits," including a 17% return on some of Mendelow’s accounts, in exchange for Mendelow referring new investors to Madoff.
Mizuho Bank filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit by clients filed in Illinois accusing it of aiding the Mt. Gox scheme. The Japanese bank says there is no basis for the claims and that the case should be heard in Japan.
The Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s dismissal of claims against Stonefield Josephson Inc. in connection with the Private Equity Management Group, or PEMGroup, Ponzi scheme. Mosier v. Stonefield Josephson, Inc., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3118 (9th Cir. Feb. 23, 2016). The appellate court agreed that the receiver could not sue on behalf of the defrauded investors regarding Stonefield’s audits because there had not been a showing of "reasonable reliance" and causation.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a $4 million joint penalty against Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust for "substantial" anti-money laundering deficiencies. The bank was found, among other things, to have failed to file at least 120 suspicious activity reports involving about $558 million in transactions in connection with the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme. Rothstein was sentenced to 50 years in prison in connection with his Ponzi scheme.
The former CEO of Gibraltar Private Bank, Steven Hayworth, sued the bank, alleging fraud and breach of contract and seeking $40 million in damages. Hayworth alleges that he was used as a scapegoat by the bank’s board of directors and pressured into leaving after Gibraltar settled several of the lawsuits relating to the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme.
The receiver of the $7 billion Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme is seeking to distribute another $50 million to victims, bringing the total distribution to about 2.5% of the victims’ claims.
Chadbourne & Parke agreed to a settle claims by investors in the R. Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme. The terms of the settlement are confidential. The firm of Proskauer Rose and Stanford’s former lawyer, Thomas Sioblom remain as defendants in the case. Separately there are other class actions moving forward against Greenberg Traurig and Hunton & Williams.
The assets of two promoters of the TelexFree scheme were frozen. A court froze the assets of Danill Shoyfer and Scott Miller, although neither has been charged by the SEC.
The ZeekRewards receiver is seeking to recover $13.2 million from payment processing companies, Payza and Payment World.

JDMA: A search on - "Joaquim Almeida"

Fay McLean - Quora

Fay McLean


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Registration Date and Time17 May 2012 12:53:53
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ConnectCounty Holdings buys 51% stake in MyGenBizz - Business News | The Star Online

steve tan see kuy

ConnectCounty buying 51% stake in MyGenBizz, which owns exclusive marketing rights in M'sia for MyBrandApp from GenBizz

KUALA LUMPUR: ACE Market-listed company ConnectCounty Holdings Bhd (CHB) is buying a 51% stake in MyGenBizz Bhd (MGB) for RM1mil cash.

The company paid 20% of the money or RM200,000 yesterday with the balance to be settled upon completion of the acquisition. It will pay with internally-generated funds and borrowings.

Post acquisition, CHB would own a majority stake in MGB while its founder Steve Tan See Kuy (pic) will hold the remainder 49% stake or 49,000 shares in MGB.

"The purchase consideration represents a premium of RM900,000 over the shareholders’ fund of MGB of RM100,000 as at Jan 20, 2014," CHB said in a statement yesterday.

MGB owns the exclusive marketing rights in Malaysia for MyBrandApp from GenBizz Inc.

The MyBrandApp has 70 functions for a person to personalise his or her brand or image digitally by consolidating Facebook, Twitter, GMail, YouTube and other mobile application features on one’s personalised page.

CHB said that factors for the acquisition included the huge resources to develop a similar personal mobile application running on both the Android and iOS platforms which were ready for commercialisation and the prospects of immediate commercialisation of the MyBrandApp in Malaysia.

Other factors were the perpetual exclusive marketing rights, tech support and the right to market future MyBrandApp platforms or applications agreement between MGB and GenBizz Inc and the industry experience of MGB’s key management staff, namely its vendor Steve Tan.

CHB chairman Datuk Norazman Haji Hamidun said in his speech that the agreement would allow the company to promote a personal mobile app with 70 features and functions.

CEO Lai Soon Yip said in a press conference that he expected a revenue contribution of 40% to its overall contribution in the first year of MGB’s operations after the app was launched by March or April of this year.

"Post the acquisition, the operations of MGB would be run by Tan including MGB chairman Khalid Husni Ahmad Hanadzlah.

Tan said he expected the MyBrandApp to reach 50,000 users this year and over half a million next year due to the vast market potential of Malaysians being involved in the direct selling and insurance industries.

ExifTool by Phil Harvey

ExifTool by Phil Harvey

Read, Write and Edit Meta Information!

Also available --> Utility to fix Nikon NEF images corrupted by Nikon software

Download Version 10.25 (4.0 MB) - Aug. 3, 2016

ExifTool is a platform-independent Perl library plus a command-line application for reading, writing and editing meta information in a wide variety of files. ExifTool supports many different metadata formats including EXIF, GPS, IPTC, XMP, JFIF, GeoTIFF, ICC Profile, Photoshop IRB, FlashPix, AFCP and ID3, as well as the maker notes of many digital cameras by Canon, Casio, DJI, FLIR, FujiFilm, GE, HP, JVC/Victor, Kodak, Leaf, Minolta/Konica-Minolta, Motorola, Nikon, Nintendo, Olympus/Epson, Panasonic/Leica, Pentax/Asahi, Phase One, Reconyx, Ricoh, Samsung, Sanyo, Sigma/Foveon and Sony.

ExifTool is also available as a stand-alone Windows executable and a Macintosh OS X package: (Note that these versions contain the executable only, and do not include the HTML documentation or other files of the full distribution above.)

Windows Executable: (4.9 MB)

The stand-alone Windows executable does not require Perl. Just download and un-zip the archive then double-click on "exiftool(-k).exe" to read the application documentation, drag-and-drop files and folders to view meta information, or rename to "exiftool.exe" for command-line use. Runs on all versions of Windows.

Mac OS X Package: ExifTool-10.25.dmg (2.6 MB)

The OS X package installs the ExifTool command-line application and libraries in /usr/local/bin. After installing, type "exiftool" in a Terminal window to run exiftool and read the application documentation.

Read the installation instructions for help installing ExifTool on Windows, Mac OS X and Unix systems.

(click here for the SHA1 and MD5 checksums to verify these distribution packages.)


A Note to Unix Power-Users

If you find the need to use "find" or "awk" in conjunction with ExifTool, then you probably haven't discovered the full power of ExifTool. Read about the -ext, -if, -p and -tagsFromFile options in the application documentation. (This is common mistake number 3.)

What People are Saying about ExifTool

"In my experience, nothing but nothing is as complete, powerful, and flexible as Phil Harvey's exiftool ... I've never seen anything that's in the same ballpark for power." - dpreview forum
"While there are a lot of image tools available, nothing comes close for accessing/updating the metadata like ExifTool" - merg's blog
"Fast, reliable and amazingly comprehensive ..." - CPAN ratings
"... the one piece of free software that gets the most detailed exif data of /any/ tool I've found." - gnome mail archives
"ExifTool makes every other EXIF reader (and writer) than I've seen, including the camera manufacturers' readers, look lame." - Nikon forum
"Insanely great tool with a long learning curve ..." - Adobe Forums
"... it's super awesome, it's super reliable and after many years of development it's still being updated!" - P_W999 blog
"... it is the mother of all EXIF utilities; the BFG of meta-data extraction; the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster of EXIF tools ... This thing will suck the last bit of metadata out of whatever image file you throw at it!" - Open Photography Forums
"... it is total fucking gibberish to me." - Reddit Linux Questions

Supported File Types

ExifTool can Read, Write and/or Create files in the following formats. Also listed are the support levels for EXIF, IPTC, XMP, ICC_Profile and other metadata types for each file format.

File TypeSupportDescriptionEXIFIPTCXMPICC1Other
3FRRHasselblad RAW (TIFF-based)RRRR-
3G2, 3GP2R/W3rd Gen. Partnership Project 2 a/v (QuickTime-based)R/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
3GP, 3GPPR/W3rd Gen. Partnership Project a/v (QuickTime-based)R/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
ARUnix static library code Archive----R EXE
AARAudible Audiobook----R Audible
AAXR/WAudible Enhanced Audiobook (QuickTime-based)R/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
ACRRAmerican College of Radiology ACR-NEMA (DICOM-like)----R DICOM
AFM, ACFM, AMFMRAdobe [Composite/Multiple Master] Font Metrics----R Font
AI, AITR/WAdobe Illustrator [Template] (PS or PDF)R/W/C5R/W/C5R/W/C6R/W/C5R/W/C PDF PostScript, R Photoshop
AIFF, AIF, AIFCRAudio Interchange File Format [Compressed]----R AIFF ID3
APERMonkey's Audio----R APE ID3
ARWR/WSony Alpha RAW (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Sony SonyIDC
ASFRMicrosoft Advanced Systems Format--R-R ASF
AVIRAudio Video Interleaved (RIFF-based)R3-R-R RIFF
BMP, DIBRWindows BitMaP / Device Independent Bitmap----R BMP
BPGRBetter Portable GraphicsR-RRR BPG
BTFRBigTIFF (64-bit Tagged Image File Format)RRRR-
CHMRMicrosoft Compiled HTML format----R EXE
COSRCapture One Settings (XML-based)----R XML
CR2R/WCanon RAW 2 (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C CanonVRD2, R/W Canon
CRW, CIFFR/WCanon RAW Camera Image File Format (CRW spec.)--R/W/C-R/W/C CanonVRD2, R/W CanonRaw
CS1R/WSinar CaptureShop 1-shot RAW (PSD-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR Photoshop
DCM, DC3, DIC, DICMRDICOM - Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine----R DICOM
DCPR/WDNG Camera Profile (DNG-like)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C-
DCRRKodak Digital Camera RAW (TIFF-based)RRRR-
DFONTRMacintosh Data Fork Font----R Font
DIVXRDivX media format (ASF-based)--R-R ASF
DJVU, DJVRDjVu image (AIFF-like)--R-R DJVU
DNGR/WDigital Negative (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C-
DOC, DOTRMicrosoft Word Document/Template (FPX-like)--RRR FlashPix
DOCX, DOCMROffice Open XML Document [Macro-enabled]----R XML ZIP
DOTX, DOTMROffice Open XML Document Template [Macro-enabled]----R XML ZIP
DPXRDigital Picture Exchange----R DPX
DR4R/W/C2Canon DPP version 4 Recipe----R/W/C CanonVRD2
DSS, DS2RDigital Speech Standard [2]----R Olympus
DYLIBRMac OS X Mach-O executable and library files----R EXE
DVRDigital Video----R DV
DVBR/WDigital Video Broadcasting (QuickTime-based)R/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
EIPRCapture One Enhanced Image Package (ZIP-based)R---R XML ZIP
EPS, EPSF, PSR/W[Encapsulated] PostScript FormatR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C PostScript, R Photoshop
EPUBRElectronic Publication (ZIP/XML-based)----R XML ZIP
ERFR/WEpson RAW Format (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Olympus
EXE, DLLRDOS/Windows executable and library files----R EXE
EXIFR/W/CExchangable Image File Format metadata (TIFF-based)R/W/C----
EXRROpen EXR (Extended Range)----R OpenEXR
EXVR/W/CExiv2 metadata file (JPEG-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CSupported JPEG Meta Information
F4A, F4B, F4P, F4VR/WAdobe Flash Player 9+ Audio/Video (QuickTime-based)R/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
FFFR/WHasselblad Flexible File Format (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C-
FFFRFLIR Systems thermal image File Format----R FLIR
FLARMacromedia/Adobe Flash project (FPX-like)--RRR FlashPix
FLACRFree Lossless Audio Codec----R FLAC ID3
FLVRFlash Video--R-R Flash
FPFRFLIR Public image Format----R FLIR
FPXRFlashPix image--RRR FlashPix
GIFR/WCompuserve Graphics Interchange Format--R/W/CR/W/CR/W/C GIF
GZ, GZIPRGNU ZIP compressed archive----R ZIP
HDP, WDP, JXRR/WWindows HD Photo / Media Photo / JPEG XR (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C-
HDRRRadiance RGBE High Dynamic-Range----R Radiance
HTML, HTM, XHTMLR[Extensible] HyperText Markup Language----R HTML
ICC, ICMR/W/C1International Color Consortium color profile---R/W/C-
ICS, ICALRiCalendar Schedule----R VCalendar
IDMLRAdobe InDesign Markup Language (ZIP/XML-based)----R XML ZIP
IIQR/WPhase One Intelligent Image Quality RAW (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W PhaseOne
IND, INDD, INDTR/WAdobe InDesign Document/Template--R/W/C--
INXRAdobe InDesign Interchange (XML-based)--R--
ISORISO 9660 disk image----R ISO
ITCRiTunes Cover Flow artwork----R ITC
J2C, JPCRJPEG 2000 codestreamR3R3RRR Jpeg2000 Photoshop3
JP2, JPF, J2K, JPM, JPXR/WJPEG 2000 image [Compound/Extended]R/W/C3R/W/C3R/W/CRR/W/C Jpeg2000, R Photoshop3
JPEG, JPG, JPER/WJoint Photographic Experts Group imageR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CSupported JPEG Meta Information
K25RKodak DC25 RAW (TIFF-based)RRRR-
KDCRKodak Digital Camera RAW (TIFF-based)RRRRR Kodak
KEY, KTHRApple iWork '09 Keynote presentation/Theme----R XML ZIP
LARLossless Audio (RIFF-based)R3-R-R RIFF
LFP, LFRRLytro Light Field Picture----R Lytro
LNKRMicrosoft Shell Link (Windows shortcut)----R LNK
M2TS, MTS, M2T, TSRMPEG-2 Transport Stream (used for AVCHD video)----R M2TS H264
M4A, M4B, M4P, M4VR/WMPEG-4 Audio/Video (QuickTime-based)R/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
MEFR/WMamiya (RAW) Electronic Format (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C-
MIER/W/CMeta Information Encapsulation (MIE specification)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C MIE
MIFF, MIFRMagick Image File FormatRRRRR MIFF Photoshop
MKA, MKV, MKSRMatroska Audio/Video/Subtitle----R Matroska
MOBI, AZW, AZW3RMobipocket electronic book (Palm-based)----R Palm MOBI
MODDRSony Picture Motion metadata (XML PLIST-based)----R PLIST
MOIRMOD Information file----R MOI
MOSR/WCreo Leaf Mosaic (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR Leaf
MOV, QTR/WApple QuickTime MovieR/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
MP3RMPEG-1 layer 3 audio----R MPEG ID3 APE
MP4R/WMotion Picture Experts Group version 4 (QuickTime-based)R/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
MPCRMusepack Audio----R MPC ID3 APE
MPEG, MPG, M2VRMotion Picture Experts Group version 1 or 2----R MPEG ID3
MPOR/WExtended Multi-Picture format (JPEG with MPF extensions)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CSupported JPEG Meta Information
MQVR/WSony Mobile QuickTime VideoR/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
MRWR/WMinolta RAWR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W MinoltaRaw Minolta
MXFRMaterial Exchange Format----R MXF
NEFR/WNikon (RAW) Electronic Format (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Nikon NikonCapture
NMBTEMPLATERApple iWork '09 Numbers Template----R XML ZIP
NRWR/WNikon RAW (2) (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Nikon NikonCapture
NUMBERSRApple iWork '09 Numbers spreadsheet----R XML ZIP
ORUnix compiled code Object----R EXE
ROpen Document Database/Chart/Formula/Graphics/
Image/Presentation/Spreadsheet/Text (ZIP/XML-based)
OFRROptimFROG audio (RIFF-based)R3-R-R RIFF
OGG, OGVROgg bitstream container----R FLAC ID3 Theora Vorbis
OPUSROgg Opus audio----R FLAC ID3 Opus Vorbis
ORFR/WOlympus RAW Format (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Olympus
OTFROpen Type Font----R Font
PACRLossless Predictive Audio Compression (RIFF-based)R3-R-R RIFF
PAGESRApple iWork '09 Pages document----R XML ZIP
PCDRKodak Photo CD Image Pac----R PhotoCD
PDB, PRCRPalm Database----R Palm
PDFR/WAdobe Portable Document FormatR3R3R/W/CR3R/W/C PDF, R Photoshop
PEFR/WPentax (RAW) Electronic Format (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Pentax
PFA, PFBRPostScript Font ASCII/Binary----R Font
PFMRPrinter Font Metrics----R Font
PGFRProgressive Graphics File----R PGF PNG
PICT, PCTRApple Picture file---RR PICT Photoshop
PLISTRApple Property List (binary and XML formats)----R PLIST
PMPRSony DSC-F1 Cyber-Shot image----R Sony
PNG, JNG, MNGR/WPortable/JPEG/Multiple-image Network GraphicsR/W/C3R/W/C3R/W/CR/W/CR/W/C PNG
PPM, PBM, PGMR/WPortable Pixel/Bit/Gray Map----R PPM
PPT, PPS, POTRPowerPoint Presentation/Slideshow/Template (FPX-like)--RRR FlashPix
POTX, POTMROffice Open XML Presentation Template [Macro-enabled]----R XML ZIP
PPSX, PPSMROffice Open XML Presentation Slideshow [Macro-enabled]----R XML ZIP
PPTX, PPTMROffice Open XML Presentation [Macro-enabled]----R XML ZIP
PSD, PSBR/WPhotoShop Document / Large DocumentR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR Photoshop
QTIF, QTI, QIFR/WQuickTime Image FileR/W3R/W3R/W/C-R/W QuickTime4
RARReal Audio----R Real ID3
RAFR/WFujiFilm RAW FormatR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W FujiFilm
RAM, RPMRReal Audio/Plug-in Metafile----R Real
RARRRAR Archive----R ZIP
RAWRKyocera Contax N Digital RAW----R KyoceraRaw
RAWR/WPanasonic RAW (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W PanasonicRaw Panasonic
RIFF, RIFRResource Interchange File FormatR3-R-R RIFF
RM, RV, RMVBRReal Media/Video [Variable Bitrate]----R Real
RSRCRMac OS Resource----R RSRC Photoshop PostScript Font
RTFRRich Text Format----R RTF
RW2R/WPanasonic RAW 2 (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W PanasonicRaw Panasonic
RWLR/WLeica RAW (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W PanasonicRaw Panasonic
RWZRRawzor compressed imageRRRRR Rawzor
SEQRFLIR Systems image Sequence----R FLIR
SORUnix ELF executable and Shared Object files----R EXE
SR2R/WSony RAW 2 (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Sony
SRFRSony RAW Format (TIFF-based)RRRRR Sony
SRWR/WSamsung RAW format (TIFF-based)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Samsung
SVGRScalable Vector Graphics (XML-based)----R SVG
SWFRShockwave Flash--R-R Flash
THMR/WCanon Thumbnail (JPEG)R/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CSupported JPEG Meta Information
THMXROffice Open XML Theme----R XML ZIP
TIFF, TIFR/WTagged Image File FormatR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/C GeoTIFF1, R/W Trailers
TTF, TTCRTrue Type Font/Collection----R Font
TORRENTRBitTorrent description file----R Torrent
VCF, VCARDRVirtual Card----R VCard
VOBRVideo Object (MPEG-based)----R MPEG
VRDR/W/C2Canon DPP Recipe Data--R/W/C-R/W/C CanonVRD2
VSDRMicrosoft Visio Drawing (FPX-like)--RRR FlashPix
WAVRWindows digital audio WAVeform (RIFF-based)R3-R-R RIFF
WEBMRGoogle Web Movie (Matroska-based)----R Matroska
WEBPRGoogle Web Picture (RIFF-based)R3-R-R RIFF
WMA, WMVRWindows Media Audio/Video (ASF-based)--R-R ASF
WVRWavePack lossless audio (RIFF-based)R3-R-R RIFF
X3FR/WSigma/Foveon RAWR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W/CR/W Sigma, R SigmaRaw
XCFRGIMP native image formatRRRRR GIMP
XLS, XLTRMicrosoft Excel Spreadsheet/Template (FPX-like)--RRR FlashPix
XLSX, XLSM, XLSBROffice Open XML Spreadsheet [Macro-enabled/Binary]----R XML ZIP
XLTX, XLTMROffice Open XML Spreadsheet Template [Macro-enabled]----R XML ZIP
XMPR/W/CExtensible Metadata Platform sidecar file--R/W/C--
ZIPRZIP archive----R ZIP
1 Block write only, 2 Block create only, 3 Non-standard format, 4 Writes only some date/time tags, 5 Only writable for PostScript-format file type, 6 Only writable for PDF-format file type

Supported JPEG Meta Information

ExifTool can Read, Write and/or Create the following types of meta information in JPEG images:

JPEG Meta InformationSupportDescription
APP0 - JFIFR/W/CJPEG File Interchange Format
APP0 - CIFFR/WCamera Image File Format (used by some Canon models)
APP0 - AVI1RJPEG AVI information
APP0 - OcadRPhotobucket Ocad segment
APP1 - EXIFR/W/CExchangeable Image File Format (including maker notes)
APP1 - XMPR/W/CExtensible Metadata Platform (multi-segment)
APP1 - QVCIRCasio QV-7000SX QVCI information
APP1 - FLIRRFLIR thermal imaging data (multi-segment)
APP2 - ICCR/W/CInternational Color Consortium (multi-segment)
APP2 - FPXRRFlashPix Ready (multi-segment)
APP2 - MPFRMulti-Picture Format
APP2 - PreviewImageRSamsung/GE APP2 preview image (multi-segment)
APP3 - Kodak MetaR/WKodak Meta information (EXIF-like)
APP3 - StimRStereo Still Image format
APP3 - PreviewImageRSamsung/HP preview image (multi-segment)
APP4 - ScaladoR(presumably written by Scalado mobile software)
APP4 - FPXRRFlashPix Ready in non-standard location (multi-segment)
APP4 - PreviewImageR(continued from APP3)
APP5 - Ricoh RMETARRicoh custom fields
APP5 - PreviewImageR(continued from APP4)
APP6 - EPPIMRToshiba PrintIM
APP6 - NITFRNational Imagery Transmission Format
APP6 - HP TDHDRHewlett-Packard Photosmart R837 TDHD information
APP7 - PentaxRPentax APP7 maker notes
APP7 - QualcommRQualcomm Camera Attributes
APP8 - SPIFFRStill Picture Interchange File Format
APP9 - Media JukeboxRMedia Jukebox XML information
APP10 - CommentRPhotoStudio Unicode Comment
APP11 - JPEG-HDRRJPEG-HDR compressed ratio image
APP12 - Picture InfoRASCII-based Picture Information
APP12 - DuckyR/W/CPhotoshop "Save for Web"
APP13 - Photoshop IRBR/W/CImage Resource Block (multi-segment, includes IPTC)
APP13 - Adobe CMRAdobe Color Management
APP14 - AdobeR/W/CAdobe DCT filter
APP15 - GraphicConverterRGraphicConverter quality
COMR/W/CJPEG Comment (multi-segment)
DQTR(used to calculate the Extra:JPEGDigest tag value)
SOFRJPEG Start Of Frame
Trailers 1
AFCP trailerR/WAXS File Concatenation Protocol (includes IPTC)
CanonVRD trailerR/W/CCanon DPP Recipe Data (includes DR4)
FotoStation trailerR/WFotoWare FotoStation (includes IPTC)
PhotoMechanic trailerR/WCamera Bits Photo Mechanic
MIE trailerR/WMeta Information Encapsulation
Samsung trailerRSamsung Galaxy trailer
PreviewImage trailerR/W/C(preview image written after JPEG EOI)
1 All trailers except Samsung and PreviewImage also have R/W support in TIFF images.

System Requirements

Requires Perl 5.004 or later. No other libraries or software required.

Windows users: A stand-alone Windows executable version of ExifTool is available which doesn't require Perl. You can also use the pure Perl version if you already have Perl installed. (You can get a good, free Perl interpreter from

Everyone else (Mac, Unix, etc): Don't worry, you already have Perl installed.

Running ExifTool

The exiftool application provides a convenient command-line interface for the Image::ExifTool Perl package (both included in the full distribution). Once you have downloaded and extracted the distribution, you can immediately run exiftool (without building or installing) by typing "DIR/exiftool FILE" (or "perl DIR/exiftool FILE" in Windows), where DIR is the exiftool directory and FILE is the name of an image file, including directory name. Read the installation instructions or the README file included in the full distribution for help installing ExifTool.

Many command-line options are available to allow you to access a wide range of features. Run exiftool with no arguments for a complete list of available options with examples.

Running in Windows

i) From the command line:

The Perl application ("exiftool") is run by typing "perl exiftool". Alternately, you may be able to rename it to "" and type "", but this requires that the proper Windows associations have been made for the the ".pl" extension.

The stand-alone version ("exiftool(-k).exe") should be renamed to "exiftool.exe" to allow it to be run by typing "exiftool" at the command line.

If the exiftool executable ("" or "exiftool.exe") is not in the current directory or your system PATH, then its directory must be specified on the command line (eg. by typing "c:\path_to_exiftool\" or "c:\path_to_exiftool\exiftool").

Note that when typing commands in the "cmd.exe" shell, you should use double quotes instead of single quotes as shown in some examples.

ii) Stand-alone version in the Windows GUI:

Double-click on "exiftool(-k).exe" to read the application documentation, or drag-and-drop files and folders to run exiftool on the selected files.

Simple options may be added inside brackets in the name of the stand-alone executable. (But note that the characters /\?*:|"<> may not be used because they are invalid in Windows file names.) In this way, the behaviour of the drag-and-drop application can be customized. For example:

Executable NameOperation
Print meta information in window and pause before terminating.
exiftool(-k -a -u -g1 -w txt).exe
Generate output ".txt" files with detailed meta information.
exiftool(-k -o %d%f.xmp).exe
Generate sidecar ".xmp" files.
exiftool(-copyright='Phil Harvey').exe
Add copyright information (and don't pause before terminating).

Hint: Options may also be added to the "Target" property of a Windows shortcut for the executable. Using a shortcut has 3 advantages over adding options in the file name: 1) different shortcuts may be created without requiring multiple copies of the executable, 2) characters which are invalid in file names may be used, and 3) the shortcuts can be given more meaningful (and convenient) file names.

As well, it may be useful to increase the window and buffer sizes to display more information: Right-click on the window's title bar then select "Properties" from the menu and change the window layout settings.

Example Output

> exiftool -h -canon pics/IMG_0315.JPG
File NameCanon.jpg
Camera Model NameCanon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
Date/Time Original2003:12:04 06:46:52
Shooting ModeBulb
Shutter Speed4
Metering ModeCenter-weighted average
Exposure Compensation0
Lens18.0 - 55.0 mm
Focal Length34.0 mm
Image Size8x8
FlashNo Flash
White BalanceAuto
Focus ModeManual Focus (3)
Color ToneNormal
Color SpacesRGB
File Size2.6 kB
File Number118-1861
Drive ModeContinuous Shooting
Owner NamePhil Harvey
Serial Number0560018150
> exiftool -lang de -h -canon t/images/Canon.jpg
KameramodellCanon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
Erstellungsdatum/-uhrzeit2003:12:04 06:46:52
Objektiv18.0 - 55.0 mm
Brennweite34.0 mm
BlitzBlitz wurde nicht ausgelöst
Fokus-ModusManueller Fokus (3)
Dateigröße2.6 kB
Name des BesitzersPhil Harvey

Verbose and HtmlDump Output

The Verbose (-v) and HtmlDump (-htmlDump) options print additional information that can be very useful for debugging or when decoding new tags.

Tag Names Explained

A tag name is a "handle" that is used to refer to a specific piece of meta information. Tag names are entered on the command line with a leading '-', in the order you want them displayed. Case is not significant. The tag name may be prefixed by a group name (separated by a colon) to identify a specific information type or location. A special tag name of "All" may be used to represent all tags, or all tags in a specified group. For example:

exiftool -filename -imagesize -exif:fnumber -xmp:all image.jpg

A complete list of ExifTool Tag Names accompanies this documentation. As well, current lists of available tag names and writable tag names may be obtained using the exiftool -list and -listw options. But perhaps the easiest way to determine a tag name is to use the -s option to print the tag names instead of descriptions for all information in a file. It may also be helpful to use the -G option to display the group names, and the -H or -D option to print the numerical tag ID's for reference.


  1. Tag names sometimes differ from their descriptions. Use the -s command-line option to see the actual tag names instead of the descriptions shown when extracting information.
  2. When extracting information, tags will not appear in the output unless they exist in the file, even if they are specified on the command line. The -f option may be used to force all specified tags to be displayed (not including tags specified with wildcards or by -GROUP:all).
  3. Information for a given tag name may occur in multiple locations within a single file. By default these duplicate tags are suppressed, but the -a option may be used to extract all tags.
  4. Tag names may be suffixed by a '#' character to disable the print conversion on a per-tag basis. See the -n option in the application documentation for more information.

Shortcut Tags

Shortcut tags represent one or more other tags, and are used like any other tag when reading, writing or copying information.

ExifTool defines a few shortcut tags in the Image::ExifTool::Shortcuts module, and allows users to define their own shortcuts in a configuration file called ".ExifTool_config" in their home directory or exiftool application directory. Here is a simple example that defines two shortcuts:

%Image::ExifTool::UserDefined::Shortcuts = (
    MyShortcut => ['createdate','exposuretime','aperture'],
    MyAlias => 'FocalLengthIn35mmFormat',

In this example, MyShortcut is a shortcut for the CreateDate, ExposureTime and Aperture tags, and MyAlias is a shortcut for FocalLengthIn35mmFormat.

The current shortcuts may be listed with the -list option.

The ~/.ExifTool_config file may also be used to define new tags. For more information about the configuration file, see the sample configuration file included with the ExifTool distribution.

Windows tip: You may have difficulty generating a filename beginning with a '.' in the Windows GUI, but it can be done with the "rename" command at the cmd.exe prompt.

Tag Groups

ExifTool classifies tags into groups in five different families. These groups are:

FamilyGroup Names
0 (Information Type) AFCP, AIFF, APE, APP0, APP1, APP11, APP12, APP13, APP14, APP15, APP4, APP5, APP6, APP8, ASF, Audible, CanonVRD, Composite, DICOM, DNG, DV, DjVu, Ducky, EXE, EXIF, ExifTool, FLAC, FLIR, File, Flash, FlashPix, Font, FotoStation, GIF, GIMP, GeoTiff, H264, HTML, ICC_Profile, ID3, IPTC, ISO, ITC, JFIF, JPEG, Jpeg2000, LNK, Leaf, Lytro, M2TS, MIE, MIFF, MNG, MOI, MPC, MPEG, MPF, MXF, MakerNotes, Matroska, Meta, Ogg, OpenEXR, Opus, PDF, PICT, PLIST, PNG, PSP, Palm, PanasonicRaw, PhotoCD, PhotoMechanic, Photoshop, PostScript, PrintIM, QuickTime, RAF, RIFF, RSRC, RTF, Radiance, Rawzor, Real, SVG, SigmaRaw, Stim, Theora, Torrent, VCard, Vorbis, XML, XMP, ZIP
1 (Specific Location) AC3, AFCP, AIFF, APE, ASF, AVI1, Adobe, AdobeCM, AdobeDNG, Apple, Audible, CIFF, Canon, CanonCustom, CanonRaw, CanonVRD, Casio, Chapter#, Composite, DICOM, DJI, DNG, DV, DjVu, DjVu-Meta, Ducky, EPPIM, EXE, EXIF, ExifIFD, ExifTool, FLAC, FLIR, File, Flash, FlashPix, Font, FotoStation, FujiFilm, FujiIFD, GE, GIF, GIMP, GPS, GeoTiff, GlobParamIFD, GraphConv, H264, HP, HTC, HTML, HTML-dc, HTML-ncc, HTML-office, HTML-prod, HTML-vw96, HTTP-equiv, ICC-chrm, ICC-clrt, ICC-header, ICC-meas, ICC-meta, ICC-view, ICC_Profile, ICC_Profile#, ID3, ID3v1, ID3v1_Enh, ID3v2_2, ID3v2_3, ID3v2_4, IFD0, IFD1, IPTC, IPTC#, ISO, ITC, InteropIFD, JFIF, JPEG, JPEG-HDR, JVC, Jpeg2000, KDC_IFD, Kodak, KodakBordersIFD, KodakEffectsIFD, KodakIFD, KyoceraRaw, LNK, Leaf, LeafSubIFD, Leica, Lytro, M2TS, MAC, MIE-Audio, MIE-Camera, MIE-Canon, MIE-Doc, MIE-Extender, MIE-Flash, MIE-GPS, MIE-Geo, MIE-Image, MIE-Lens, MIE-Main, MIE-MakerNotes, MIE-Meta, MIE-Orient, MIE-Preview, MIE-Thumbnail, MIE-UTM, MIE-Unknown, MIE-Video, MIFF, MNG, MOBI, MOI, MPC, MPEG, MPF0, MPImage, MXF, MakerNotes, MakerUnknown, Matroska, MediaJukebox, MetaIFD, Microsoft, Minolta, MinoltaRaw, Motorola, NITF, Nikon, NikonCapture, NikonCustom, NikonScan, Nintendo, Ocad, Ogg, Olympus, OpenEXR, Opus, PDF, PICT, PNG, PNG-pHYs, PSP, Palm, Panasonic, PanasonicRaw, Pentax, PhaseOne, PhotoCD, PhotoMechanic, Photoshop, PictureInfo, PostScript, PreviewIFD, PrintIM, ProfileIFD, Qualcomm, QuickTime, RAF, RAF2, RIFF, RMETA, RSRC, RTF, Radiance, Rawzor, Real, Real-CONT, Real-MDPR, Real-PROP, Real-RA3, Real-RA4, Real-RA5, Real-RJMD, Reconyx, Ricoh, SPIFF, SR2, SR2DataIFD, SR2SubIFD, SRF#, SVG, Samsung, Sanyo, Scalado, Sigma, SigmaRaw, Sony, SonyIDC, Stim, SubIFD, System, Theora, Torrent, Track#, VCalendar, VCard, Version0, Vorbis, XML, XMP, XMP-DICOM, XMP-GPano, XMP-MP, XMP-MP1, XMP-PixelLive, XMP-aas, XMP-acdsee, XMP-album, XMP-apple-fi, XMP-aux, XMP-cc, XMP-cell, XMP-creatorAtom, XMP-crs, XMP-dc, XMP-dex, XMP-digiKam, XMP-dwc, XMP-exif, XMP-exifEX, XMP-expressionmedia, XMP-extensis, XMP-fpv, XMP-getty, XMP-ics, XMP-iptcCore, XMP-iptcExt, XMP-lr, XMP-mediapro, XMP-microsoft, XMP-mwg-coll, XMP-mwg-kw, XMP-mwg-rs, XMP-pdf, XMP-pdfx, XMP-photomech, XMP-photoshop, XMP-plus, XMP-pmi, XMP-prism, XMP-prl, XMP-prm, XMP-pur, XMP-rdf, XMP-swf, XMP-tiff, XMP-x, XMP-xmp, XMP-xmpBJ, XMP-xmpDM, XMP-xmpMM, XMP-xmpNote, XMP-xmpPLUS, XMP-xmpRights, XMP-xmpTPg, ZIP
2 (Category) Audio, Author, Camera, Document, ExifTool, Image, Location, Other, Preview, Printing, Time, Unknown, Video
3 (Document Number) Doc#, Main
4 (Instance Number) Copy#

The exiftool output can be organized based on these groups using the -g or -G option. See the GetGroup function in the ExifTool library for a description of the group families.

Writing Meta Information

When writing information, ExifTool preserves the original file by adding "_original" to the file name. Be sure to keep a copy of the original, or thoroughly validate the new file before erasing the original. (Read here for some ramblings on the subject of writing meta information.)


Tag values are written rather than being extracted if any tag name ends with a '=' symbol (or if the -tagsFromFile or -geotag options are used). The '=' may be prefixed by '+', '-' or '<' to add a value, remove a value or set a value from file. The following table outlines the different write syntaxes:

-TAG=Deletes all occurrences of TAG
-all=Deletes all meta information!
-GROUP:TAG=Deletes TAG only in specified group
-GROUP:all=Deletes all information in specified group
-[GROUP:]TAG=VALUESets value of TAG (only in GROUP if specified)
-[GROUP:]TAG+=VALUEAdds item to a list, shifts a date/time, or increments a number
-[GROUP:]TAG-=VALUERemoves item from a list, shifts a date/time, or deletes TAG if it has the specified value
-[GROUP:]TAG<=FILESets tag value from contents of specified file
See the Writer Limitations for some limitations of this feature.

Quotes are required around VALUE if it contains spaces or other special characters, and around the whole argument if the '<=' syntax is used (to prevent shell redirection).

A special feature allows the print conversion to be disabled on a per-tag basis by suffixing any tag name (including 'all') with the '#' character. This has the same effect as the -n option, but for a single tag. See the -n option in the application documentation for more details.

Note: Changes to PDF files are reversible because the original metadata is never actually deleted from these files. See the PDF Tags documentation for details.

Group Priorities

ExifTool prioritizes the following types of meta information when writing:

1) EXIF,   2) IPTC,   3) XMP

Many tag names are valid for more than one of these groups. If a group name is not specified when writing information, then the information is added only to the highest priority group for which the tag name is valid (however, the information is updated in all groups where the tag already existed). The priority of the groups is given by the list above. Specifically, this means that new information is added preferentially to the EXIF group, or to the IPTC group if no corresponding EXIF tag exists, or finally to the XMP group.

Alternatively, information may be written to a specific group only, bypassing these priorities, by providing a group name for the tag. The "Writing Meta Information" section above gave the syntax rules for exiftool command-line arguments to do this. Any family 0, 1 or 2 group name may be used when writing information, although not all groups are writable.

The "-tagsFromFile" Option

A special ExifTool option allows copying tags from one file to another. The command-line syntax for doing this is "-tagsFromFile SRCFILE". Any tags specified after this option on the command line are extracted from source file and written to the destination file. If no tags are specified, then all writable tags are copied. This option is very simple, yet very powerful. Depending on the formats of the source and destination files, some of tags read may not be valid in the destination file, in which case they aren't written.

This option may also be used to transfer information between different tags within a single image or between different images. See the -tagsFromFile option in the application documentation for more details.

Writer Limitations

  • ExifTool will not rewrite a file if it detects a significant problem with the file format.
  • ExifTool has been tested with a wide range of different images, but since it is not possible to test it with every known image type, there is the possibility that it will corrupt some files. Be sure to keep backups of your files.
  • Even though ExifTool does some validation of the information written, it is still possible to write illegal values which may cause problems when reading the images with other software. So take care to validate the information you are writing.
  • ExifTool is not guaranteed to remove metadata completely from a file when attempting to delete all metadata. For JPEG images, all APP segments (except Adobe APP14, which is not removed by default) and trailers are removed which effectively removes all metadata, but for other formats the results are less complete:
    • JPEG - APP segments (except Adobe APP14) and trailers are removed.
    • TIFF - XMP, IPTC and the ExifIFD are removed, but some EXIF may remain in IFD0.
    • PNG - Only iTXt, tEXt and zTXt chunks (including XMP) are removed.
    • PDF - The original metadata is never actually removed.
    • PS - Only some PostScript and XMP may be deleted.
    • MOV/MP4 - Only XMP is deleted.
    • RAW formats - It is not recommended to remove all metadata from RAW images because this will likely remove some proprietary information that is necessary for proper rendering of the image.

Known Problems

  • Some antivirus software has been known to cause problems for the Windows version of ExifTool. Norton Antivirus may delete ExifTool when it is run, and Windows Defender may slow down launching of ExifTool or hang it altogether. Presumably this is due to the way the ExifTool package for Windows works -- it unpacks executable files into a temporary directory and runs from there, which apparently may be seen as a threat by antivirus software. A work-around is to add ExifTool to the exclusion list of the antivirus software.
  • Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter 9.5.1 fail to recognize edited Samsung SRW images from some models (NX30, NX300, NX2000 and EK-GN120). [This bug was reported to Adobe on May 26, 2016 -- follow the progress here.]
  • In Windows, ExifTool will not process files with Unicode characters in the file name. This is due to an underlying lack of support for Unicode filenames in the Windows standard C I/O libraries. [This deficiency was addressed in ExifTool 9.79, and ExifTool now supports Windows Unicode file names with some exceptions. See the WINDOWS UNICODE FILE NAMES section of the application documentation for details.]
  • Memory available to ExifTool in the Windows EXE version is limited to a few hundred MB. This limitation has been known to cause unreasonably long processing times (almost 7 minutes) for some large EPS files (> 200 MB) which are processed much faster by the Perl version (< 6 seconds).
  • Apple Spotlight and Preview (OS X 10.8.5) and Adobe Photoshop CC (version 14.0) ignore XMP in PNG images if it comes after the image data, which is where ExifTool adds new XMP. This should be considered as a bug in the Apple and Adobe software since XMP is allowed to exist after the image data according to the XMP and PNG specifications. [ExifTool 9.40 provides the PNGEarlyXMP API option to allow writing XMP before the IDAT chunk, but there are caveats associated with its use]
  • There is a bug in the Apple RAW file support (OS X 10.4.11) which prevents some edited Pentax PEF images from being displayed properly. Other software such as the Pentax Silkypix software and dcraw have no problems with these images. [This bug is fixed in OS X 10.5.4]
  • There is a bug in a number of Adobe utilities which causes some edited Sony ARW images to be displayed with the wrong tone curve. This problem has been observed in Photoshop CS4 Camera Raw 5.6, DNG Converter 5.6 and Lightroom 2.6 with ARW images from the A500, A550, A700, A850 and A900. Other software such as the Sony IDC utility, Apple RAW utilities, dcraw and Capture One have no problems with edited images. [This bug is fixed in Camera Raw 6.3 and LR 3.3]

Security Issues

Some ExifTool options (-if, -p, and copying arguments like "-DSTTAG<STR") have the ability to execute Perl code from within command-line arguments. This may be a security problem if ExifTool is executed from another application that blindly passes untrusted file names on the command line (since they may be interpreted as ExifTool options if they begin with a dash). To be secure, the calling application must ensure that input file names do not start with a dash (U+002D) or a Unicode minus sign (U+2212). The easiest way to accomplish this is to prefix input file names with a known directory name, eg.) "./FILENAME".

Date/Time Shift Feature

Have you ever forgotten to set the date/time on your digital camera before taking a bunch of pictures? ExifTool has a time shift feature that makes it easy to apply a batch fix to the timestamps of the images (eg. change the "Date Picture Taken" reported by Windows Explorer). Say for example that your camera clock was reset to 2000:01:01 00:00:00 when you put in a new battery at 2005:11:03 10:48:00. Then all of the pictures you took subsequently have timestamps that are wrong by 5 years, 10 months, 2 days, 10 hours and 48 minutes. To fix this, put all of the images in the same directory ("DIR") and run exiftool:

exiftool "-DateTimeOriginal+=5:10:2 10:48:0" DIR

The example above changes only the DateTimeOriginal tag, but any writable date or time tag can be shifted, and multiple tags may be written with a single command line. Commonly, in JPEG images, the DateTimeOriginal, CreateDate and ModifyDate values must all be changed. For convenience, a shortcut tag called AllDates has been defined to represent these three tags. So, for example, if you forgot to set your camera clock back 1 hour at the end of daylight savings time in the fall, you can fix the images with:

exiftool -AllDates-=1 DIR

See (download in PDF format) for details about the syntax of the time shift string.

Note: Not all date/time information is covered by the AllDates shortcut. Specifically, the filesystem date/time tags are not included, and this command will reset FileModifyDate to the current date/time as it should when the file is modified, unless either the -P option is used, or FileModifyDate is set to something else. To shift FileModifyDate along with the other tags, add -FileModifyDate-=1 to the command above.

Renaming and/or Moving Files

By writing a new value to the FileName and/or Directory tags, files can be renamed and/or moved to different directories. This can be a very powerful tool in combination with the -d (date format) option for organizing images by date/time. For example, the following command renames all images in directory "DIR" according to the individual file's creation date in the form "YYYYmmdd_HHMMSS.ext".

exiftool "-FileName<CreateDate" -d "%Y%m%d_%H%M%S.%%e" DIR

Or a new directory can be specified by setting the value of the Directory tag. For example, the following command moves all images originally in directory "DIR" into a directory hierarchy organized by year/month/day:

exiftool "-Directory<DateTimeOriginal" -d "%Y/%m/%d" DIR

Read here for more details about this powerful feature.

Improving Performance

There is a significant overhead in loading ExifTool, so performance may be greatly improved by taking advantage of ExifTool's batch processing capabilities (the ability to process multiple files or entire directories with a single command) to reduce the number of executed commands when performing complex operations or processing multiple files. [One exiftool user documented a 60x speed increase by processing a large number of files with a single command instead of running exiftool separately on each file.] Also, the -execute option may be used to perform multiple independent operations with a single invocation of exiftool, and together with the -stay_open option provides a method for calling applications to avoid this startup overhead.

It has also been observed that the loading time of ExifTool for Windows increases significantly when Windows Defender is active. Disabling Windows Defender may speed things up significantly.

The processing speed of ExifTool can be improved when extracting information by reducing the amount of work that it must do. Decrease the number of extracted tags by specifying them individually (-TAG) or by group (-GROUP:all), and disable the composite tags (-e) and the print conversions (-n) if these features aren't required. Note that the exclude options (-x or --TAG) are not very efficient, and may have a negative impact on performance if a large number of tags are excluded individually.

The -fast option can significantly increase speed when extracting information from JPEG images which are piped across a slow network connection. However, with this option any information in a JPEG trailer is not extracted. For more substantial speed benefits, -fast2 may be used to also avoid extracting MakerNote information if this is not required.

When writing, avoid copying tags (with -tagsFromFile) or using the -if or -fileOrder option because these will add the extra step of extracting tags from the file. Without these the write operation is accomplished with a single pass of each file.

However, note that when the -csv option is used, information from all files is buffered in memory before the CSV output is written. This may be very memory intensive and result in poor performance when reading a large number of files in a single command.

The Image::ExifTool Perl Library Module

The "exiftool" script provides a command-line interface to the Image::ExifTool Perl library module which is part of the ExifTool distribution. The Image::ExifTool module can be used in any Perl script to provide easy access to meta information. Here is an example of a very simple script that uses Image::ExifTool to print out all recognized meta information in a file:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use Image::ExifTool ':Public';
my $file = shift or die "Please specify filename";
my $info = ImageInfo($file);
foreach (keys %$info) {
    print "$_ : $info->{$_}\n";

Note that some tag values may be returned as SCALAR references indicating binary data. The simple script above does not handle this case.

See the Image::ExifTool Documentation for more details.

Additional Documentation and Resources

User-contributed Documentation

Related Utilities

Below are some free utilities which take advantage of the ExifTool engine:


Mac OS X

  • Download a stand-alone droplet to extract preview images from RAW files (thanks to Brett Gross)
  • Download three droplets to extract information [exiftool must be installed] (thanks to Rob Lewis)
  • MacMetaMod: Droplet for adding Keywords to images
  • GPSPhotoLinker: Geotagging on the Mac
  • PhotoGPSEditor and PhotoInfoEditor: Geocoding utilities
  • MetaDataMover (source): GUI-based automator utility for moving/renaming images
  • CS1ToCR2: Utility that uses Sony GPS-CS1 log files to add GPS information to CR2 images
  • Geotagger: Droplet for inserting GPS coordinates in your photos
  • Raw Photo Processor: Raw converter for Mac OS X
  • GraphicConverter: Full-featured image editor [noteworthy, but not free]
  • GeoTag: Geotagging application for iPhone and OS X
  • ImageFuser: Fuses multiple exposures of a scene into one image with improved detail/exposure
  • GeoNamesTagger: Docklet to easily update image metadata with location specific information
  • SetEXIFData: Add/modify EXIF data in images


  • rawimage: A kfile plugin and thumbnail image handler for RAW formats
  • Hugin: Panorama photo stitcher
  • FotoPreProcessor: PyQt4-based frontend for exiftool to graphically edit metadata
  • ExZenToo: Script for basic ExifTool GUI using Zenity
  • PDFMted: A set of bash scripts for easy viewing and editing of PDF metadata


  • ImageIngester: Windows and Mac OS X image workflow automator
  • gpsPhoto: Geotag your images from a GPS (GPX) track log
  • renrot: Perl utility to perform various processing tasks on images
  • GPicSync: Windows/Linux utility to geocode photos from a GPX track log and create KML files
  • FlickFleck: Tool to transfer images from memory card, rotate, rename, and organize by date
  • Geotag: Open source Java-based geotagging application
  • PhotoGrok: Java-based GUI front-end for ExifTool to display images organized by any EXIF tag
  • XnView: View and convert graphic files
  • Mapivi: Open-source and cross-platform picture manager
  • ResourceSpace: Open source digital asset management system
  • fix_corrupted_nef: Utility to fix Nikon D4/D600/D800/D800E NEF images corrupted by Nikon Transfer 1
  • pyExifToolGUI: Python-based graphical frontend for ExifTool
  • MDQC: AVPreserve tool for metadata quality control across large numbers of digital assets
  • FastPhotoTagger: Add metadata to images (requires Java runtime engine)
  • Digi-libris: Metadata centric software for the automatic organization of your own catalogue


Lightroom Plugins


  • C++ ExifTool: Performance-oriented C++ interface for the exiftool application (by Phil Harvey)
  • Download sample AppleScript to extract tags into AppleScript record (thanks to Rob Lewis)
  • Download example of a simple Visual C++ wrapper for exiftool (thanks Mark Borg and 黃瑞昌)
  • Download C# version of simple exiftool wrapper (thanks Willem Semmelink)
  • Download Visual Basic 6.0 example script v1.01 for reading tags with exiftool (thanks Michael Wandel)
  • Sample VB.NET subroutine to extract a preview image (thanks Claus Beckmann)
  • ExifToolIO: .NET wrapper for ExifTool, optimized for speed (using VB.NET)
  • ExifToolWrapper: .NET wrapper for ExifTool (using C#)
  • MiniExiftool: Ruby library wrapper for ExifTool
  • exiftoolr: Ruby wrapper for ExifTool
  • pyexiftool: Python wrapper for ExifTool
  • PyExifInfo: Another Python wrapper for ExifTool
  • PHPExiftool: PHP wrapper for ExifTool (in development)
  • ExifTool_PHP_StayOpen: ExifTool PHP fast processing script using -stayOpen and Gearman
  • Moss: Collection of Java utilities which includes an exiftool interface
  • im4java: Java interface to ImageMagick, ExifTool, and other image utilities
  • Java ExifTool: Enhanced Java Integration for ExifTool
  • J-ExifTool: Open-source, cross platform Java7 library to read/write Exif tags in images
  • How to call ExifTool from Delphi, by Bogdan Hrastnik

Other Links

Boldly Go where No Man has Gone Before...

There is still much unknown information in the maker notes for many camera models. (To see this information, run exiftool with the -U option.) In this area, ExifTool is very much a collaborative effort, and development relies heavily on the input from camera owners to help decode new meta information. If you manage to figure out what any of it means, send me an e-mail (phil at and I'll add your new discoveries to ExifTool. Many thanks to all who have helped so far...


Thanks to everyone who has sent in bug reports, comments, or suggestions, and special thanks to the following people for their valuable input and/or additions to the code:

  • Malcolm Wotton for his help with the D30 Custom Functions
  • David Anson for his help sorting out binary file problems on Windows
  • Leon Booyens for his suggestions
  • Dan Heller for his bug reports, detailed suggestions and guidance
  • Wayne Smith for his help figuring out the Pentax maker notes
  • Michael Rommel for his bug fixes and additions to the Canon maker notes
  • Joseph Heled for help figuring out some of the Nikon D70 maker notes
  • Joachim Loehr for adding the Casio type 2 maker notes
  • Greg Troxel for his suggestions and for adding ExifTool to pkgsrc
  • Thomas Walter for figuring out some Nikon tags
  • Brian Ristuccia for more information about some Nikon tags
  • Christian Koller for decoding the 20D custom functions
  • Matt Madrid for his testing and feedback
  • Tom Christiansen for his help decoding some Nikon tags
  • Markku Hänninen for help decoding tags for the Olympus E-1
  • Frank Ledwon for decoding many new Olympus tags
  • Robert Rottmerhusen for decoding many tricky Nikon lens data tags
  • Michael Tiemann for decoding a number of new Canon tags
  • Albert Bogner for his image samples, testing and useful suggestions
  • Rainer Hönle for decoding a number of new Canon 5D tags
  • Nilesh Patel for his help with the web page layout
  • Jens Duttke for his suggestions, bug reports and help decoding new tags
  • Dave Nicholson for decoding new tags in Pentax and Canon maker notes
  • Bogdan Hrastnik for his feedback, decoding efforts, user support and ExifTool GUI
  • Igal Milchtaich for decoding many Sony A100 tags
  • Laurent Clevy for his work analyzing Canon RAW images
  • Warren Hatch for decoding many Nikon tags
  • Jos Roost for decoding many Sony tags for various models
  • Iliah Borg and LibRaw for decoding many raw development tags


This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


ExifTool is free, but due to popular request I am providing a way for those who feel the need to send me some money. It is really not necessary, but thank you very much if you decide to make a contribution:


Contact Me

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please post to the ExifTool Forum so other people may benefit from your experiences. (I check the forum at least as often as my email.) Otherwise, if you must contact me directly, my e-mail address is on the first line of the README file in the full distribution. Thanks.   - Phil Harvey


What the Web Said Yesterday

What the Web Said Yesterday

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 took off from Amsterdam at 10:31 A.M. G.M.T. on July 17, 2014, for a twelve-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur. Not much more than three hours later, the plane, a Boeing 777, crashed in a field outside Donetsk, Ukraine. All two hundred and ninety-eight people on board were killed. The plane’s last radio contact was at 1:20 P.M. G.M.T. At 2:50 P.M. G.M.T., Igor Girkin, a Ukrainian separatist leader also known as Strelkov, or someone acting on his behalf, posted a message on VKontakte, a Russian social-media site: "We just downed a plane, an AN-26." (An Antonov 26 is a Soviet-built military cargo plane.) The post includes links to video of the wreckage of a plane; it appears to be a Boeing 777.

Two weeks before the crash, Anatol Shmelev, the curator of the Russia and Eurasia collection at the Hoover Institution, at Stanford, had submitted to the Internet Archive, a nonprofit library in California, a list of Ukrainian and Russian Web sites and blogs that ought to be recorded as part of the archive’s Ukraine Conflict collection. Shmelev is one of about a thousand librarians and archivists around the world who identify possible acquisitions for the Internet Archive’s subject collections, which are stored in its Wayback Machine, in San Francisco. Strelkov’s VKontakte page was on Shmelev’s list. "Strelkov is the field commander in Slaviansk and one of the most important figures in the conflict," Shmelev had written in an e-mail to the Internet Archive on July 1st, and his page "deserves to be recorded twice a day."

On July 17th, at 3:22 P.M. G.M.T., the Wayback Machine saved a screenshot of Strelkov’s VKontakte post about downing a plane. Two hours and twenty-two minutes later, Arthur Bright, the Europe editor of the Christian Science Monitor, tweeted a picture of the screenshot, along with the message "Grab of Donetsk militant Strelkov’s claim of downing what appears to have been MH17." By then, Strelkov’s VKontakte page had already been edited: the claim about shooting down a plane was deleted. The only real evidence of the original claim lies in the Wayback Machine.

The average life of a Web page is about a hundred days. Strelkov’s "We just downed a plane" post lasted barely two hours. It might seem, and it often feels, as though stuff on the Web lasts forever, for better and frequently for worse: the embarrassing photograph, the regretted blog (more usually regrettable not in the way the slaughter of civilians is regrettable but in the way that bad hair is regrettable). No one believes any longer, if anyone ever did, that "if it’s on the Web it must be true," but a lot of people do believe that if it’s on the Web it will stay on the Web. Chances are, though, that it actually won’t. In 2006, David Cameron gave a speech in which he said that Google was democratizing the world, because "making more information available to more people" was providing "the power for anyone to hold to account those who in the past might have had a monopoly of power." Seven years later, Britain’s Conservative Party scrubbed from its Web site ten years’ worth of Tory speeches, including that one. Last year, BuzzFeed deleted more than four thousand of its staff writers’ early posts, apparently because, as time passed, they looked stupider and stupider. Social media, public records, junk: in the end, everything goes.

Web pages don’t have to be deliberately deleted to disappear. Sites hosted by corporations tend to die with their hosts. When MySpace, GeoCities, and Friendster were reconfigured or sold, millions of accounts vanished. (Some of those companies may have notified users, but Jason Scott, who started an outfit called Archive Team—its motto is "We are going to rescue your shit"—says that such notification is usually purely notional: "They were sending e-mail to dead e-mail addresses, saying, ‘Hello, Arthur Dent, your house is going to be crushed.’ ") Facebook has been around for only a decade; it won’t be around forever. Twitter is a rare case: it has arranged to archive all of its tweets at the Library of Congress. In 2010, after the announcement, Andy Borowitz tweeted, "Library of Congress to acquire entire Twitter archive—will rename itself Museum of Crap." Not long after that, Borowitz abandoned that Twitter account. You might, one day, be able to find his old tweets at the Library of Congress, but not anytime soon: the Twitter Archive is not yet open for research. Meanwhile, on the Web, if you click on a link to Borowitz’s tweet about the Museum of Crap, you get this message: "Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!"

The Web dwells in a never-ending present. It is—elementally—ethereal, ephemeral, unstable, and unreliable. Sometimes when you try to visit a Web page what you see is an error message: "Page Not Found." This is known as "link rot," and it’s a drag, but it’s better than the alternative. More often, you see an updated Web page; most likely the original has been overwritten. (To overwrite, in computing, means to destroy old data by storing new data in their place; overwriting is an artifact of an era when computer storage was very expensive.) Or maybe the page has been moved and something else is where it used to be. This is known as "content drift," and it’s more pernicious than an error message, because it’s impossible to tell that what you’re seeing isn’t what you went to look for: the overwriting, erasure, or moving of the original is invisible. For the law and for the courts, link rot and content drift, which are collectively known as "reference rot," have been disastrous. In providing evidence, legal scholars, lawyers, and judges often cite Web pages in their footnotes; they expect that evidence to remain where they found it as their proof, the way that evidence on paper—in court records and books and law journals—remains where they found it, in libraries and courthouses. But a 2013 survey of law- and policy-related publications found that, at the end of six years, nearly fifty per cent of the URLs cited in those publications no longer worked. According to a 2014 study conducted at Harvard Law School, "more than 70% of the URLs within the Harvard Law Review and other journals, and 50% of the URLs within United States Supreme Court opinions, do not link to the originally cited information." The overwriting, drifting, and rotting of the Web is no less catastrophic for engineers, scientists, and doctors. Last month, a team of digital library researchers based at Los Alamos National Laboratory reported the results of an exacting study of three and a half million scholarly articles published in science, technology, and medical journals between 1997 and 2012: one in five links provided in the notes suffers from reference rot. It’s like trying to stand on quicksand.

The footnote, a landmark in the history of civilization, took centuries to invent and to spread. It has taken mere years nearly to destroy. A footnote used to say, "Here is how I know this and where I found it." A footnote that’s a link says, "Here is what I used to know and where I once found it, but chances are it’s not there anymore." It doesn’t matter whether footnotes are your stock-in-trade. Everybody’s in a pinch. Citing a Web page as the source for something you know—using a URL as evidence—is ubiquitous. Many people find themselves doing it three or four times before breakfast and five times more before lunch. What happens when your evidence vanishes by dinnertime?

The day after Strelkov’s "We just downed a plane" post was deposited into the Wayback Machine, Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council, in New York, that Ukrainian separatist leaders had "boasted on social media about shooting down a plane, but later deleted these messages." In San Francisco, the people who run the Wayback Machine posted on the Internet Archive’s Facebook page, "Here’s why we exist."

The address of the Internet Archive is, but another way to visit is to take a plane to San Francisco and ride in a cab to the Presidio, past cypresses that look as though someone had drawn them there with a smudgy crayon. At 300 Funston Avenue, climb a set of stone steps and knock on the brass door of a Greek Revival temple. You can’t miss it: it’s painted wedding-cake white and it’s got, out front, eight Corinthian columns and six marble urns.

"We bought it because it matched our logo," Brewster Kahle told me when I met him there, and he wasn’t kidding. Kahle is the founder of the Internet Archive and the inventor of the Wayback Machine. The logo of the Internet Archive is a white, pedimented Greek temple. When Kahle started the Internet Archive, in 1996, in his attic, he gave everyone working with him a book called "The Vanished Library," about the burning of the Library of Alexandria. "The idea is to build the Library of Alexandria Two," he told me. (The Hellenism goes further: there’s a partial backup of the Internet Archive in Alexandria, Egypt.) Kahle’s plan is to one-up the Greeks. The motto of the Internet Archive is "Universal Access to All Knowledge." The Library of Alexandria was open only to the learned; the Internet Archive is open to everyone. In 2009, when the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to sell its building, Kahle went to Funston Avenue to see it, and said, "That’s our logo!" He loves that the church’s cornerstone was laid in 1923: everything published in the United States before that date lies in the public domain. A temple built in copyright’s year zero seemed fated. Kahle hops, just slightly, in his shoes when he gets excited. He says, showing me the church, "It’s Greek!"

Kahle is long-armed and pink-cheeked and public-spirited; his hair is gray and frizzled. He wears round wire-rimmed eyeglasses, linen pants, and patterned button-down shirts. He looks like Mr. Micawber, if Mr. Micawber had left Dickens’s London in a time machine and landed in the Pacific, circa 1955, disguised as an American tourist. Instead, Kahle was born in New Jersey in 1960. When he was a kid, he watched "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show"; it has a segment called "Peabody’s Improbable History," which is where the Wayback Machine got its name. Mr. Peabody, a beagle who is also a Harvard graduate and a Nobel laureate, builds a WABAC machine—it’s meant to sound like a UNIVAC, one of the first commercial computers—and he uses it to take a boy named Sherman on adventures in time. "We just set it, turn it on, open the door, and there we are—or were, really," Peabody says.

When Kahle was growing up, some of the very same people who were building what would one day become the Internet were thinking about libraries. In 1961, in Cambridge, J. C. R. Licklider, a scientist at the technology firm Bolt, Beranek and Newman, began a two-year study on the future of the library, funded by the Ford Foundation and aided by a team of researchers that included Marvin Minsky, at M.I.T. As Licklider saw it, books were good at displaying information but bad at storing, organizing, and retrieving it. "We should be prepared to reject the schema of the physical book itself," he argued, and to reject "the printed page as a long-term storage device." The goal of the project was to imagine what libraries would be like in the year 2000. Licklider envisioned a library in which computers would replace books and form a "network in which every element of the fund of knowledge is connected to every other element."


In 1963, Licklider became a director at the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (now called DARPA). During his first year, he wrote a seven-page memo in which he addressed his colleagues as "Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network," and proposed the networking of ARPA machines. This sparked the imagination of an electrical engineer named Lawrence Roberts, who later went to ARPA from M.I.T.’s Lincoln Laboratory. (Licklider had helped found both B.B.N. and Lincoln.) Licklider’s two-hundred-page Ford Foundation report, "Libraries of the Future," was published in 1965. By then, the network he imagined was already being built, and the word "hyper-text" was being used. By 1969, relying on a data-transmission technology called "packet-switching" which had been developed by a Welsh scientist named Donald Davies, ARPA had built a computer network called ARPAnet. By the mid-nineteen-seventies, researchers across the country had developed a network of networks: an internetwork, or, later, an "internet."

Kahle enrolled at M.I.T. in 1978. He studied computer science and engineering with Minsky. After graduating, in 1982, he worked for and started companies that were later sold for a great deal of money. In the late eighties, while working at Thinking Machines, he developed Wide Area Information Servers, or WAIS, a protocol for searching, navigating, and publishing on the Internet. One feature of WAIS was a time axis; it provided for archiving through version control. (Wikipedia has version control; from any page, you can click on a tab that says "View History" to see all earlier versions of that page.) WAIS came before the Web, and was then overtaken by it. In 1989, at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in Geneva, Tim Berners-Lee, an English computer scientist, proposed a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) to link pages on what he called the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee toyed with the idea of a time axis for his protocol, too. One reason it was never developed was the preference for the most up-to-date information: a bias against obsolescence. But the chief reason was the premium placed on ease of use. "We were so young then, and the Web was so young," Berners-Lee told me. "I was trying to get it to go. Preservation was not a priority. But we’re getting older now." Other scientists involved in building the infrastructure of the Internet are getting older and more concerned, too. Vint Cerf, who worked on ARPAnet in the seventies, and now holds the title of Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, has started talking about what he sees as a need for "digital vellum": long-term storage. "I worry that the twenty-first century will become an informational black hole," Cerf e-mailed me. But Kahle has been worried about this problem all along.

"I’m completely in praise of what Tim Berners-Lee did," Kahle told me, "but he kept it very, very simple." The first Web page in the United States was created at SLAC, Stanford’s linear-accelerator center, at the end of 1991. Berners-Lee’s protocol—which is not only usable but also elegant—spread fast, initially across universities and then into the public. "Emphasized text like is a hypertext link," a 1994 version of SLAC’s Web page explained. In 1991, a ban on commercial traffic on the Internet was lifted. Then came Web browsers and e-commerce: both Netscape and Amazon were founded in 1994. The Internet as most people now know it—Web-based and commercial—began in the mid-nineties. Just as soon as it began, it started disappearing.

And the Internet Archive began collecting it. The Wayback Machine is a Web archive, a collection of old Web pages; it is, in fact, the Web archive. There are others, but the Wayback Machine is so much bigger than all of them that it’s very nearly true that if it’s not in the Wayback Machine it doesn’t exist. The Wayback Machine is a robot. It crawls across the Internet, in the manner of Eric Carle’s very hungry caterpillar, attempting to make a copy of every Web page it can find every two months, though that rate varies. (It first crawled over this magazine’s home page,, in November, 1998, and since then has crawled the site nearly seven thousand times, lately at a rate of about six times a day.) The Internet Archive is also stocked with Web pages that are chosen by librarians, specialists like Anatol Shmelev, collecting in subject areas, through a service called Archive It, at, which also allows individuals and institutions to build their own archives. (A copy of everything they save goes into the Wayback Machine, too.) And anyone who wants to can preserve a Web page, at any time, by going to, typing in a URL, and clicking "Save Page Now." (That’s how most of the twelve screenshots of Strelkov’s VKontakte page entered the Wayback Machine on the day the Malaysia Airlines flight was downed: seven captures that day were made by a robot; the rest were made by humans.)

I was on a panel with Kahle a few years ago, discussing the relationship between material and digital archives. When I met him, I was struck by a story he told about how he once put the entire World Wide Web into a shipping container. He just wanted to see if it would fit. How big is the Web? It turns out, he said, that it’s twenty feet by eight feet by eight feet, or, at least, it was on the day he measured it. How much did it weigh? Twenty-six thousand pounds. He thought that meant something. He thought people needed to know that.

Kahle put the Web into a storage container, but most people measure digital data in bytes. This essay is about two hundred thousand bytes. A book is about a megabyte. A megabyte is a million bytes. A gigabyte is a billion bytes. A terabyte is a million million bytes. A petabyte is a million gigabytes. In the lobby of the Internet Archive, you can get a free bumper sticker that says "10,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes Archived." Ten petabytes. It’s obsolete. That figure is from 2012. Since then, it’s doubled.

The Wayback Machine has archived more than four hundred and thirty billion Web pages. The Web is global, but, aside from the Internet Archive, a handful of fledgling commercial enterprises, and a growing number of university Web archives, most Web archives are run by national libraries. They collect chiefly what’s in their own domains (the Web Archive of the National Library of Sweden, for instance, includes every Web page that ends in ".se"). The Library of Congress has archived nine billion pages, the British Library six billion. Those collections, like the collections of most national libraries, are in one way or another dependent on the Wayback Machine; the majority also use Heritrix, the Internet Archive’s open-source code. The British Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France backfilled the early years of their collections by using the Internet Archive’s crawls of the .uk and .fr domains. The Library of Congress doesn’t actually do its own Web crawling; it contracts with the Internet Archive to do it instead.

The church at 300 Funston Avenue is twenty thousand square feet. The Internet Archive, the building, is open to the public most afternoons. It is, after all, a library. In addition to housing the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive is a digital library, a vast collection of digitized books, films, television and radio programs, music, and other stuff. Because of copyright, not everything the Internet Archive has digitized is online. In the lobby of the church, there’s a scanning station and a listening room: two armchairs, a coffee table, a pair of bookshelves, two iPads, and two sets of headphones. "You can listen to anything here," Kahle says. "We can’t put all our music on the Internet, but we can put everything here."

Copyright is the elephant in the archive. One reason the Library of Congress has a very small Web-page collection, compared with the Internet Archive, is that the Library of Congress generally does not collect a Web page without asking, or, at least, giving notice. "The Internet Archive hoovers," Abbie Grotke, who runs the Library of Congress’s Web-archive team, says. "We can’t hoover, because we have to notify site owners and get permissions." (There are some exceptions.) The Library of Congress has something like an opt-in policy; the Internet Archive has an opt-out policy. The Wayback Machine collects every Web page it can find, unless that page is blocked; blocking a Web crawler requires adding only a simple text file, "robots.txt," to the root of a Web site. The Wayback Machine will honor that file and not crawl that site, and it will also, when it comes across a robots.txt, remove all past versions of that site. When the Conservative Party in Britain deleted ten years’ worth of speeches from its Web site, it also added a robots.txt, which meant that, the next time the Wayback Machine tried to crawl the site, all its captures of those speeches went away, too. (Some have since been restored.) In a story that ran in the Guardian, a Labour Party M.P. said, "It will take more than David Cameron pressing delete to make people forget about his broken promises." And it would take more than a robots.txt to entirely destroy those speeches: they have also been collected in the U.K. Web Archive, at the British Library. The U.K. has what’s known as a legal-deposit law; it requires copies of everything published in Britain to be deposited in the British Library. In 2013, that law was revised to include everything published on the U.K. Web. "People put their private lives up there, and we actually don’t want that stuff," Andy Jackson, the technical head of the U.K. Web Archive, told me. "We don’t want anything that you wouldn’t consider a publication." It is hard to say quite where the line lies. But Britain’s legal-deposit laws mean that the British Library doesn’t have to honor a request to stop collecting.

Legal-deposit laws have been the standard in Western Europe for centuries. They provide national libraries with a form of legal protection unavailable to the Library of Congress, which is not strictly a national library; also, U.S. legal- deposit laws have exempted online-only works. "We are citadels," Gildas Illien, the former Web archivist at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, told me. The Internet Archive is an invaluable public institution, but it’s not a national library, either, and, because the law of copyright has not kept up with technological change, Kahle has been collecting Web sites and making them freely available to the public without the full and explicit protection of the law. "It’s extremely audacious," Illien says. "In Europe, no organization, or very few, would take that risk." There’s another feature to legal-deposit laws like those in France, a compromise between advocates of archiving and advocates of privacy. Archivists at the BnF can capture whatever Web pages they want, but those collections can be used only in the physical building itself. (For the same reason, you can’t check a book out of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France; you have to read it there.) One result is that the BnF’s Web archive is used by a handful of researchers, a few dozen a month; the Wayback Machine is used by hundreds of thousands of people a day.

In 2002, Kahle proposed an initiative in which the Internet Archive, in collaboration with national libraries, would become the head of a worldwide consortium of Web archives. (The Internet Archive collects from around the world, and is available in most of the world. Currently, the biggest exception is China—"I guess because we have materials on the archive that the Chinese government would rather not have its citizens see," Kahle says.) This plan didn’t work out, but from that failure came the International Internet Preservation Consortium, founded in 2003 and chartered at the BnF. It started with a dozen member institutions; there are now forty-nine.

Something else came out of that consortium. I talked to Illien two days after the massacre in Paris at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. "We are overwhelmed, and scared, and even taking the subway is terrifying, and we are scared for our children," Illien said. "The library is a target." When we spoke, the suspects were still at large; hostages had been taken. Illien and his colleagues had started a Web archive about the massacre and the world’s response. "Right now the media is full of it, but we know that most of that won’t last," he said. "We wrote to our colleagues around the world and asked them to send us feeds to these URLs, to Web sites that were happening, right now, in Paris, so that we could collect them and historians will one day be able to see." He was very quiet. He said, "When something like that happens, you wonder what you can do from where you sit. Our job is memory."

"Do you have any hand sanitizer?"

The plan to found a global Internet archive proved unworkable, partly because national laws relating to legal deposit, copyright, and privacy are impossible to reconcile, but also because Europeans tend to be suspicious of American organizations based in Silicon Valley ingesting their cultural inheritance. Illien told me that, when faced with Kahle’s proposal, "national libraries decided they could not rely on a third party," even a nonprofit, "for such a fundamental heritage and preservation mission." In this same spirit, and in response to Google Books, European libraries and museums collaborated to launch Europeana, a digital library, in 2008. The Googleplex, Google’s headquarters, is thirty-eight miles away from the Internet Archive, but the two could hardly be more different. In 2009, after the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued Google Books for copyright infringement, Kahle opposed the proposed settlement, charging Google with effectively attempting to privatize the public-library system. In 2010, he was on the founding steering committee of the Digital Public Library of America, which is something of an American version of Europeana; its mission is to make what’s in libraries, archives, and museums "freely available to the world . . . in the face of increasingly restrictive digital options."

Kahle is a digital utopian attempting to stave off a digital dystopia. He views the Web as a giant library, and doesn’t think it ought to belong to a corporation, or that anyone should have to go through a portal owned by a corporation in order to read it. "We are building a library that is us," he says, "and it is ours."

When the Internet Archive bought the church, Kahle recalls, "we had the idea that we’d convert it into a library, but what does a library look like anymore? So we’ve been settling in, and figuring that out."

From the lobby, we headed up a flight of yellow-carpeted stairs to the chapel, an enormous dome-ceilinged room filled with rows of oak pews. There are arched stained-glass windows, and the dome is a stained-glass window, too, open to the sky, like an eye of God. The chapel seats seven hundred people. The floor is sloped. "At first, we thought we’d flatten the floor and pull up the pews," Kahle said, as he gestured around the room. "But we couldn’t. They’re just too beautiful."

On the wall on either side of the altar, wooden slates display what, when this was a church, had been the listing of the day’s hymn numbers. The archivists of the Internet have changed those numbers. One hymn number was 314. "Do you know what that is?" Kahle asked. It was a test, and something of a trick question, like when someone asks you what’s your favorite B track on the White Album. "Pi," I said, dutifully, or its first three digits, anyway. Another number was 42. Kahle gave me an inquiring look. I rolled my eyes. Seriously? But it is serious, in a way. It’s hard not to worry that the Wayback Machine will end up like the computer in Douglas Adams’s "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy," which is asked what is the meaning of "life, the universe, and everything," and, after thinking for millions of years, says, "Forty-two." If the Internet can be archived, will it ever have anything to tell us? Honestly, isn’t most of the Web trash? And, if everything’s saved, won’t there be too much of it for anyone to make sense of any of it? Won’t it be useless?

The Wayback Machine is humongous, and getting humongouser. You can’t search it the way you can search the Web, because it’s too big and what’s in there isn’t sorted, or indexed, or catalogued in any of the many ways in which a paper archive is organized; it’s not ordered in any way at all, except by URL and by date. To use it, all you can do is type in a URL, and choose the date for it that you’d like to look at. It’s more like a phone book than like an archive. Also, it’s riddled with errors. One kind is created when the dead Web grabs content from the live Web, sometimes because Web archives often crawl different parts of the same page at different times: text in one year, photographs in another. In October, 2012, if you asked the Wayback Machine to show you what looked like on September 3, 2008, it would have shown you a page featuring stories about the 2008 McCain-Obama Presidential race, but the advertisement alongside it would have been for the 2012 Romney-Obama debate. Another problem is that there is no equivalent to what, in a physical archive, is a perfect provenance. Last July, when the computer scientist Michael Nelson tweeted the archived screenshots of Strelkov’s page, a man in St. Petersburg tweeted back, "Yep. Perfect tool to produce ‘evidence’ of any kind." Kahle is careful on this point. When asked to authenticate a screenshot, he says, "We can say, ‘This is what we know. This is what our records say. This is how we received this information, from which apparent Web site, at this IP address.’ But to actually say that this happened in the past is something that we can’t say, in an ontological way." Nevertheless, screenshots from Web archives have held up in court, repeatedly. And, as Kahle points out, "They turn out to be much more trustworthy than most of what people try to base court decisions on."

You can do something more like keyword searching in smaller subject collections, but nothing like Google searching (there is no relevance ranking, for instance), because the tools for doing anything meaningful with Web archives are years behind the tools for creating those archives. Doing research in a paper archive is to doing research in a Web archive as going to a fish market is to being thrown in the middle of an ocean; the only thing they have in common is that both involve fish.

The Web archivists at the British Library had the brilliant idea of bringing in a team of historians to see what they could do with the U.K. Web Archive; it wasn’t all that much, but it was helpful to see what they tried to do, and why it didn’t work. Gareth Millward, a young scholar interested in the history of disability, wanted to trace the history of the Royal National Institute for the Blind. It turned out that the institute had endorsed a talking watch, and its name appeared in every advertisement for the watch. "This one advert appears thousands of times in the database," Millward told me. It cluttered and bogged down nearly everything he attempted. Last year, the Internet Archive made an archive of its .gov domain, tidied up and compressed the data, and made it available to a group of scholars, who tried very hard to make something of the material. It was so difficult to recruit scholars to use the data that the project was mostly a wash. Kahle says, "I give it a B." Stanford’s Web archivist, Nicholas Taylor, thinks it’s a chicken-and-egg problem. "We don’t know what tools to build, because no research has been done, but the research hasn’t been done because we haven’t built any tools."

The footnote problem, though, stands a good chance of being fixed. Last year, a tool called was launched. It was developed by the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, and its founding supporters included more than sixty law-school libraries, along with the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Internet Archive, the Legal Information Preservation Alliance, and the Digital Public Library of America. promises "to create citation links that will never break." It works something like the Wayback Machine’s "Save Page Now." If you’re writing a scholarly paper and want to use a link in your footnotes, you can create an archived version of the page you’re linking to, a "permalink," and anyone later reading your footnotes will, when clicking on that link, be brought to the permanently archived version. has already been adopted by law reviews and state courts; it’s only a matter of time before it’s universally adopted as the standard in legal, scientific, and scholarly citation. is a patch, an excellent patch. Herbert Van de Sompel, a Belgian computer scientist who works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, is trying to reweave the fabric of the Web. It’s not possible to go back in time and rewrite the HTTP protocol, but Van de Sompel’s work involves adding to it. He and Michael Nelson are part of the team behind Memento, a protocol that you can use on Google Chrome as a Web extension, so that you can navigate from site to site, and from time to time. He told me, "Memento allows you to say, ‘I don’t want to see this link where it points me to today; I want to see it around the time that this page was written, for example.’ " It searches not only the Wayback Machine but also every major public Web archive in the world, to find the page closest in time to the time you’d like to travel to. ("A world with one archive is a really bad idea," Van de Sompel points out. "You need redundance.") This month, the Memento group is launching a Web portal called Time Travel. Eventually, if Memento and projects like it work, the Web will have a time dimension, a way to get from now to then, effortlessly, a fourth dimension. And then the past will be inescapable, which is as terrifying as it is interesting.

At the back of the chapel, up a short flight of stairs, there are two niches, arched alcoves the same shape and size as the stained-glass windows. Three towers of computers stand within each niche, and ten computers are stacked in each tower: black, rectangular, and humming. There are towers like this all over the building; these are only six of them. Still, this is it.

Kahle stands on his tiptoes, sinks back into his sneakers, and then bounds up the stairs. He is like a very sweet boy who, having built a very fine snowman, drags his mother outdoors to see it before it melts. I almost expect him to take my hand. I follow him up the stairs.

"Think of them as open stacks," he says, showing me the racks. "You can walk right up to them and touch them." He reaches out and traces the edge of one of the racks with the tip of his index finger. "If you had all the words in every book in the Library of Congress, it would be about an inch, here," he says, measuring the distance between his forefinger and thumb.

Up close, they’re noisy. It’s mainly fans, cooling the machines. At first, the noise was a problem: a library is supposed to be quiet. Kahle had soundproofing built into the walls.

Each unit has a yellow and a green light, glowing steadily: power indicators. Then, there are blue lights, flickering.

"Every time a light blinks, someone is uploading or downloading," Kahle explains. Six hundred thousand people use the Wayback Machine every day, conducting two thousand searches a second. "You can see it." He smiles as he watches. "They’re glowing books!" He waves his arms. "They glow when they’re being read!"

One day last summer, a missile was launched into the sky and a plane crashed in a field. "We just downed a plane," a soldier told the world. People fell to the earth, their last passage. Somewhere, someone hit "Save Page Now."

Where is the Internet’s memory, the history of our time?

"It’s right here!" Kahle cries.

The machine hums and is muffled. It is sacred and profane. It is eradicable and unbearable. And it glows, against the dark.



2015-08-09 11:21 Read:
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Ponzi scheme targeting crew - Beware - do not become a victim. - Page 10 - PPRuNe Forums

Old 18th Jul 2016, 16:30   #181 (permalink)
Thread Starter
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Today Exe***** Offices officially closed and sealed by Dubai Department of Economic Development!

Everyone now realising UT Markets is headed down the same path. Recent technical problems paying out profits...and the "UNAVOIDABLE DELAYS" emails when you try and close your account.

Ex***** at least had an office and claimed only 100% return a year.
UT operates through whats up and claims 200%+ pa. Plus min $US500 commission on each new client you suck into the ponzi - Did you really think they would be around for more than a year..........shame on anyone involved!
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Old 18th Jul 2016, 20:10   #182 (permalink)
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Where is Michigan777flyer in all this now? A year ago he was waxing lyrical about the scheme he was in being completely genuine..and about how much money he was making.

So what's your take on this now Michigan? Do you sleep well at night with your Porsche parked in the garage knowing you've destroyed the lives of some of the people you convinced to join these "amazing investments"? Man you're a piece of work.
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Old 20th Jul 2016, 00:22   #183 (permalink)
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Our Forex Millionaires - thanks to 9crew

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Old 21st Jul 2016, 07:53   #184 (permalink)
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Old 21st Jul 2016, 09:58   #185 (permalink)
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Old 21st Jul 2016, 10:04   #186 (permalink)
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Exential investors tell of how losses have affected their life plans

The National staff July 20, 2016

DUBAI // Many investors feared it was too good to be true but were happy to spin the wheel of fortune on foreign exchange currency schemes promising 120 per cent annual returns.

Airline cabin crew were one of the key groups targeted in Dubai by other investors to encourage more people to open up accounts with Exential.

Federico Tarragona, 35, a Dubai-based cabin crew member for eight years, was hoping profits would pay for his wedding, but those plans are now on hold.

Earning an average Dh10,000 a month, he borrowed Dh250,000 to invest in three accounts.

"It has affected my life, and the lives of so many others," he said.

"We’ve been told it is a civil case and there is nothing the police can do to help.

"When I opened the account, the agreement said if I wanted to close the account, they must pay in 20 working days.

"I have waited two months and had nothing. Now I’m being told I must wait even longer, and even then it is not guaranteed.

"I was investing to move forward in life. That is why I took such a risk. I wanted to get married and start a family. It has been a game changer, it has changed my life.

"Like many others, I have a big loan, so my income has halved because I’m paying back the loan."

Simon, who also works for a Dubai airline and earns Dh15,000 a month, invested Dh150,000.

"So many colleagues have done the same thing. From what I understand, they have more than 7,000 clients."

Another cabin crew member, Kadir Gures, 33, from Turkey, earns Dh18,000 a month and has lost Dh147,000.

"There are lots of young cabin crew and, as soon as we get to know each other, Exential becomes the topic of conversation," he said.

"People ask how many accounts they have and how much money they have made."

He added that "they were buying houses and doing amazing things with their money, so I thought I would try.

"So many borrowed money, it will leave them with a burden and if they can’t repay the loans they will have to leave."

Full article: Exential investors tell of how losses have affected their life plans | The National
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Old 21st Jul 2016, 10:49   #187 (permalink)
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" if they can't repay the loans they will have to leave".....that could be somewhat problematic.
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Old 21st Jul 2016, 13:41   #188 (permalink)
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Yup, if they are smart they will skip town and go home. But there are SO many from EK involved that it will certainly have an effect on the company.
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Old 21st Jul 2016, 15:13   #189 (permalink)
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10 K salary and 250 K borrowed...... Run Forrest run...
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Old 21st Jul 2016, 16:21   #190 (permalink)
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Will they even let you out of DXB say to go on holiday, if you have a large loan to repay?
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Old 21st Jul 2016, 20:14   #191 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 3Greens View Post
Will they even let you out of DXB say to go on holiday, if you have a large loan to repay?
As long as you pay the monthly installments yes. If you miss a payment, things could get difficult. Don't know the actual policy, a couple of years ago they took the passport.
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Old 24th Jul 2016, 20:29   #192 (permalink)
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Look, with all due respect to all involved...

But you have to be an absolute idiot to borrow 25X your salary to invest in something that promises to yield 120% a year. Why isn't HH investing his billions with these guys then?.. Kinda begs the question, right? All normal investment funds yield like 5%..

Then you also have to be an absolute a**hole to lend 250K just like that to someone without even asking the person what he\she want to invest in!.. The banks really don't care, they just want to give out loans! On one side it's good for experienced investors, but then you will have these stories of rookies who are scr*wed for the rest of their life!

UAE is all about speculation and no real wealth creation.. So all these behaviors really fit into UAE culture. People get mind-drunk with all the fancy cars, flashy parties, condos and everyone wants to get rich. And they want to get rich fast. So these stories will keep happening forever, there is no way to stop this.

My personal advice to the 250K guy, pack your stuff and disappear!
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Old 11th Aug 2016, 16:43   #193 (permalink)

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It were so obvious weeks ago when UT ran out of new joiners, hence they promoted a 7% bonus on every new account to keep the Ponzi scheme running as much as possible !!! It is collapsed now and they trading in their fake software showing thousands of dollars loss till they will dry all the accounts. Now officially account termination takes at least 2-3 months just a new Exential and the thing is the UT markets is also undercover is the new company called FX-Expert
They share the same IP address and location in Bulgaria & most UT clients received a call from them.
Here is how it were promoted by the UT Facebook groups admins days before they collapse

Great offer: for limited time only
- 7% bonus when opening new account!
Example: you open 20k account u receive 21.4k credit in your account.
- 100% commission back for 20k+ 50% back for 10k account
- 5% bonus on accounts upgrades
*you top up 10k you receive 500$ bonus as credit in your account = 10.5k,
*you top up 40k you receiver 2 k bonus as credit in your account = 42k

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Old 12th Aug 2016, 02:31   #194 (permalink)
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Another one bites the dust....

I was wondering why nobody has been flashing around their "Magic FX APP" in the cockpit for the past week!

It used to show big green numbers and arrows pointing upward. Come join they said.

Turns out, all it shows now is, RED

UT have stopped paying any "profits" - banking delays. Sound familiar.

UT refuse any account terminations/closures
- banking limitations. Sound familiar.

UT ask for patience give them 3-6 months ....pretty please.

WHEN WILL EVERYONE FINALLY LEARN. Stay away from Ponzi schemes.

Letter sent out today in an attempt to quell the panic:

Dear Customer,

We apologize for a slow reply.

Due to an overwhelming amount of Whatsapp messages and emails (over 1000 messages and emails per agent) and phone constantly ringing we just cannot keep up physically with replying. Please read the below, we wish to cover all the points and questions our clients have and put their mind at ease that we are not ignoring anybody and working here to keep UTM going.

Important note - please save our number in your Whatsapp - if we send too many messages to numbers that do not have our number saved it will block our Whatsapp for four hours - we do not need any extra delays at the moment - please save the number.

Are you waiting for a withdrawal or commission for more than seven working days?

It is highly likely the money has bounced back due to our daily limits. We are in the process of checking all bounce backs and will re-wire the funds to the same account. Please check with your bank too in case there is a pending transfer. We will only contact a client if the bounce back is due to an error on their part such as bank details - all other bounce backs we will take care of but will not be sending any confirmation out - please work with us - the funds will arrive.

Have you made a withdrawal request and the funds have not been removed from your trading account within the last 24 hours?

Due to the daily limits and the long line of bounce backs we will only begin a withdrawal when we can fit it within the daily limit.

Losing trades and open trades

Losing trades unfortunately cannot be avoided, and please do not be alarmed when you see an open trade in action - open trades change your equity constantly. - UTM will find the right time to close it. We keep a trade open, even if it is losing, because a small movement upwards could cancel out the loss and move it into positive.

In the client contract you will see that there is a risk disclosure meaning you have agreed for UTM to trade on your behalf and take risks in the market - we will of course try our best for clients.

During live trading (when a trade is open) we cannot facilitate withdrawals or terminations because the platform will not allow it.

Please note - we cannot close individual clients trades because we trade as a group.

Down grading an account

Current platform rules do not allow downgrades below your platform level. For example, if you have 45000 USD in your account, the maximum you can withdraw is 5000 USD. To withdraw more money, clients must make a full termination by completing a withdrawal as usual, but entering your full balance. However - please read the section below on terminations.

Termination (closing an account)

Currently, due to the high volume of terminations, and bank limits, terminations cannot be processed at the moment. We estimate it will take two to three months before we can do so.

Top up and new clients

For now, just as with outgoing money, we have a limit on incoming funds too. Please bear with us until we can accommodate these.

Payment providers

Please note that Moneynet and Wire2Pay are only payment providers for UTM. ALL queries MUST come only to UT Markets - please do not contact payment providers.

What to do now?

For now, we advise to keep your account trading, we will try our best to trade as best as we can to recover from the unfortunate losing trades recently - and are working hard to get things running perfectly at UTM again.

We kindly ask you to please work with us, let us focus on dealing with the high volume of bounce backs and messages we have to clear at the moment - we really want to keep communication lines open with clients but cannot keep up, hence this message to try and cover all points.

We urge you to please stay away from the Chinese whispers and rumors on social media websites such as Facebook. This message we hope has covered all points - clients with individual questions please feel to reach out to us - we will respond as fast as we can.

We will be sending regular updates like this to keep you informed.

Lastly, a kind request...we ask you to acknowledge that exceptions cannot be made - all UTM clients are treated equally and we will have to work with the current limits and rules for all clients.

Regards from the UT Markets team.


Guess what, no one is answering any queries, phones dead. Excuse: Staff all on leave.

In the words of Queen, it seems "Another one bites the dust...."
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Old 12th Aug 2016, 10:38   #195 (permalink)

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Belive it or not many many still defending UT & they can not even get their profits nor the capitals.
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Old 12th Aug 2016, 14:21   #196 (permalink)

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The end for UT live now drying all the accounts to 0 soon.

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Old 13th Aug 2016, 13:38   #197 (permalink)
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I don't understand those figures but I do know it's a ponzi.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 08:03   #198 (permalink)
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(14) Genneva Disgruntled Customer Group


KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 7): The daughter of Genneva Malaysia Berhad's former director today claimed trial to 82 counts of receiving illegal proceeds and transferring the monies to her company's account.

Ng Wan Yean, 29, was alleged to have transferred a whopping RM931.7 million from an RHB bank branch in Kuala Lumpur between January 2011 and August last year.

The sum was transferred to Ng Advantage Sdn Bhd's company account, where she is the director.

Her father, Datuk Ng Poh Weng had been charged with similar offences on Sept 27.

Poh Weng was among the six individuals who were claiming trial for 913 accounts of money laundering and 10 illegal deposit taking charges worth RM5.5 billion.

The Deputy Public Prosecutors for Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) were Mardziatun Nisa Ahamadul Kabir and Nik Haslinie Hashim.

Wan Yean meanwhile was represented A S Dhaliwal and Devinder Kaur Dhaliwal.

Although Mardziatun said the offence was non-bailable, due to the amount involved, she urged the court to fix it at RM1 million and a surety, as well as for Wan Yean to hand over her travel documents if the court chose to fix bail.

Dhaliwal however argued that Wan Yean has paid RM80,000 in bail at the Shah Alam Court yesterday where she was charged for a similar offence and therefore the question of it being non-bailable did not arise.

Wan Yean, he went on, has been cooperative with the BNM authorities, is single and currently supported by the family.

"While the amount is large, she is innocent till proven guilty," he said, adding Wan Yean had to raise funds on her own to pay the bail.

Sessions Court Judge Mat Ghani Abdullah set bail at RM50,000.

He has also fixed Nov 27 for case management and April 7 to 24 next year for trial.

Forex scheme woes - Business News | The Star Online

Investors fall for plans that promise up to 250% returns, raising questions about their sustainability

SALMAH, a retired secondary school teacher, ploughed her entire gratuity money into the country’s infamous gold investment scheme Genneva Gold. It was her second investment after her first reaped a return of more than 30% per annum.

A few weeks later, a joint-effort by the police, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) and Bank Negara came knocking on the doors of the Genneva Gold office in Kuala Lumpur.

That was five years ago. Salmah, along with a few thousand other people who had invested in the scheme, are still waiting and hoping to get their money back.

"Each day, that hope of recovering my money gets smaller and smaller," Salmah laments.

The amount investors ploughed into the Genneva Gold scam is estimated to be more than RM1bil.

The latest craze is the "foreign exchange" (forex) trading scheme that guarantees returns that, when you think about it, are considered just "too good to be true". And nobody has an idea on the amount that has been invested in the schemes, although some estimate it to be between RM3bil and RM4bil.

The returns range from 110% per annum to 250% per annum – staggering figures that cannot be matched by the world’s best hedge fund managers.

In comparison, the Top 20 best-performing hedge funds in the world registered a return of just above 3% on a total fund size of RM465bil in 2015. According to LCH Investments, a company that ranks hedge funds, the Top 20 hedge funds only made a profit of RM15bil for their investors last year. Included in the Top 20 are funds managed by household names such as George Soros, Steve Cohen, Ray Dalio and Bill Ackman.

What’s worse is that the other hedge funds outside the Top 20 collectively lost some US$99bil of their investors’ money.

"So how do forex schemes, which are the playground for hedge funds, give such returns is a wonder. Such schemes provide returns that are clearly not tenable," says a fund manager.

According to Bank Negara’s website, a forex trading scheme refers to the buying or selling of foreign currency by an individual or company in Malaysia with any person who is not a licensed onshore bank, or who has not obtained the approval of the central bank, subject to the Financial Services Act 2013 or Islamic Financial Services Act 2013.

"This scheme involves the act of buying or borrowing foreign currencies from or selling or lending foreign currencies to a non-licensed onshore bank," says Bank Negara.

It says that operators usually operate on a small scale and claim they can provide remittance services efficiently, without the need for any documents or identification. They rarely use documents to validate and verify the transactions

"By engaging in these transactions, customers run the risk of being cheated and their funds may never reach their intended destination."

The operators usually target job-seekers by placing attractive advertisements to lure them to join the company, after which they use the employees to solicit for new investments.

"Often, the employees will be encouraged to approach their families, relatives and friends before targeting members of the public," says Bank Negara.

Untenable returns

One representative for an offshore forex trading firm says an investor needs to place a minimum initial investment of US$1,000 (RM4,000).

"Returns are 4% per day for 80 days, so the amount bloats to US$3,200. At the end of 80 days, the company takes 30% and the investor takes the rest, which is US$2,240," says the trader, who requested anonymity.

Assuming that conversion is done at RM3.50 to the dollar, US$2,240 would amount to RM7,840.

This would mean that for an initial investment of RM4,000, you make RM7,840 in 80 days, or 96% in just under three months. If this were the case, then on an annual basis, your returns would be 384% (96% per quarter times four).

The trader assured that his operations have been running smoothly over the past six months "without any hiccups".

Meanwhile, Leong, an entrepreneur, says he has been "investing" in a forex trading scheme for about a year and has been "very happy" with the gains.

According to him, the investors only need to put in US$1,000 and are then guaranteed a 20% return every month. Unlike the earlier mentioned scheme, which has an 80-day tenure, this one runs indefinitely.

"There is no duration. You can reinvest your 20% or you can keep topping up your investment," says Leong, who calls the scheme his "sweet investment".

Leong says the scheme is run by a New Zealand-based firm and has been operational for about five years.

"We try to accumulate as many people as possible so that the investment pool can get bigger."

Asked if he ever gets sceptical, Leong says: "If you understand forex trading, you can trade and always make money."

One lawyer says that the fact that "some unlicensed broker" is taking money from Leong is already wrong.

"Deposit-taking is illegal, unless you’re licensed by Bank Negara," he says.

According to Bank Negara’s website, illegal operators usually operate on a small scale and claim they can provide remittance services efficiently, without the need for any documents or identification.

They rarely use documents to validate and verify the transactions. By engaging in these transactions, customers run the risk of being cheated and their funds may never reach their intended destination.

"Illegal operators usually portray a professional and reputable image, a high-tech office layout and advanced IT facilities, such as LCD screens displaying movements in exchange rates to provide the impression that a legitimate and real business is being conducted. These facilities are merely a false front," says Bank Negara.

Says one victim of a now-gone-bust forex trading firm: "When I first heard of this company, it was represented by a smooth-talking Malaysian businessman who owned super-fast cars, who claimed to be earning millions of ringgit per year and was living the ultimate dream lifestyle.

"I was sceptical at first but after two seminars, I was so convinced by what he had to offer that I jumped in without thinking twice. His company was offering double-digit returns per month with a capital guarantee on the original investment. As an added incentive, you were also offered cash bonuses being invested by people you introduce."

The company, he was told, was registered in Australia.

Holding a financial services licence overseas is different from being registered as a forex broker, says one corporate lawyer.

"This does not mean that the forex firm that’s running the scheme can be scrutinised or is endorsed by the authorities in the country where it is supposedly registered."

He points out that the registration process was merely "a formality" for financial services companies.

Exploiting a loophole

Forex schemes have been on the rise in Malaysia and the modus operandi has always been the same – the company that eventually receives the money is based outside the country, while the intermediaries tend to be locals.

"Because the company receiving the money is outside the country, the authorities cannot do much. In previous cases, the companies that collected the money were within the country and the authorities raided and charged them with illegal deposit taking and anti-money laundering laws," says an official close to Bank Negara.

According to the central bank, licensed onshore banks that can conduct foreign currency trading in Malaysia are commercial banks, Islamic banks, investment banks and international Islamic banks.

According to the corporate lawyer, many of these forex trading "experts" will set up their own servers (which they control themselves) to lure investors and trick them into believing that ridiculously big gains can be made over a short period of time.

"To get these investors to pay more money, these so-called experts will persuade the victims to part with more money or arrange for them to borrow or introduce more people into the scheme.

"Because they control these servers, they have the ability to manipulate the trading outcomes into losses for the early investors that made it big."

Bank Negara’s website reveals that in some cases, investors are allowed to operate their accounts via the Internet.

"Investors are also required to sign a business contract which is normally entered between the investors and a principal company overseas. In most instances, the operators will inform the investors that they will have to send these contracts to its principal company overseas for signing.

"However, such contracts are usually left unsigned. As such, in the event the investors are unhappy with future dealings and transactions, no action can be taken against the company, as there is no binding contract between them."

Nobody can really put a finger on how much money has been invested in these forex trading schemes.

As for the Genneva Gold scheme, Bank Negara has started scrutinising the scheme in 2011 following complaints of dubious gold trading and raided the company a year later.

The company was also investigated for breaking several banking and financial laws, including money laundering, taking deposits without giving gold in return, evading taxes and misrepresenting itself as an investment firm.

The central bank has frozen the company’s accounts and other assets worth RM99.8mil. It also seized gold bullion weighing 126kg from the company.

According to a statement on Bank Negara’s website regarding the Genneva Gold scheme, initial forensic accounting had uncovered considerable losses being experienced by the company in 2012, and that the company had liabilities exceeding 10 times its assets – which would put the figure at around RM1bil.

Hands are tied

No doubt, when it comes to get-rich-quick schemes that promise untenable returns, taking preventive measures is necessary.

In the case of the forex trading scheme operators, since they have their headquarters outside of Malaysia, there is little that the local authorities – Bank Negara and SSM – can do.

"This is because the central bank cannot regulate offshore companies. Bank Negara can only regulate or recognise financial institutions such as banks and finance firms that are based here," says a banking lawyer.

When it comes to financially-related plans or schemes, one should only deal with authorised dealers or licensed financial institutions, advises one wealth planner.

"Be vigilant and check with the relevant personnel and authorities before investing your money. Don’t rush into anything or be pressured to invest if you’re not sure. Always do your homework or background checks," she says.

The wealth planner adds that with the gradual rise in online scams, one should be careful when investing over the Internet.

"Be sceptical of any purported schemes or investment opportunities that are not in black and white.

"Also, always keep records of your investments."

At the end of the day, sometimes, all that is required is really common sense. Bank Negara, on its website, sums it up best: "Remember the golden rule – if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a lie."

Related story:

Getting the lowdown on trading

The Ponzi Scheme Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 2016 Ponzi Scheme Roundup

Posted by Kathy Bazoian Phelps

    Below is a summary of the activity reported for May 2016. The reported stories reflect: 3 guilty pleas or convictions in pending cases; over 129 years of newly imposed sentences for people involved in Ponzi schemes; at least 8 new Ponzi schemes worldwide; and an average age of approximately 47 for the alleged Ponzi schemers. Please feel free to post comments about these or other Ponzi schemes that I may have missed. And please remember that I am just relaying what’s in the news, not writing or verifying it.

    Lori Ann Anderson, 54, was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison for each of three felonies in connection with a $1.7 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded 46 investors. Anderson ran an investment business called SMTS, which she said stood for "Show Me the Savings" or "Stock Market Trading Services." This was the second time that Anderson was sentenced. In 1992, she was sentenced in a similar case which caused her to lose her securities license for embezzling $140,000 from Farm Bureau Insurance policy holders.

    Charles Bennett, 57, a former corporate lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for running a $5 million Ponzi scheme. Bennett had left a suicide note before trying to kill himself which revealed the scheme that defrauded 30 friends and family members. Bennett survived the suicide attempt.

    Louis Martin "Marty" Blazer III was accused of running a Ponzi scheme involving $2.35 million of funds invested in his company, Blazer Capital Management. Blazer is alleged to have taken money from 5 clients, at least two of which were professional athletes, promising them returns from investments in two movie projects.

    Gerard Frank Cellette, 51, pleaded guilty to charges that he ran a Ponzi scheme through his printing business, Minnesota Print Services, and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Cellette had claimed to have printing contracts with major corporations and promised investors 10% to 15% returns. The scheme took in $250 million. Co-defendant Adam Jay Boskovich pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to one day in jail.

    Alcibiades Cifuente, 33, and Jennifer Wee Cifuentes, 35, were charged by prosecutors alleging that they ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded approximately 25 victims out of about $600,000. The scheme involved foreign currency and commodity markets.

    Chad Roger Deucher, 43, was indicted on allegations that he defrauded investors in his real estate firm out of $16 million in a Ponzi scheme. Deucher allegedly ran the scheme through his property management company, Marquis Properties LLC, and promised returns as high as 22%. He had collected about $28 million from 250 investors and transferred millions of dollars into his business and personal interests that were unrelated to the acquisition or rehabilitation of property. Deucher and Richard Clatfelter, the Marquis executive vice president, had been sued by the SEC in January.

    Catherine Ann "Cathy" Finberg was the subject of an order freezing her investment accounts on allegations that she ran a $1.3 million Ponzi scheme.

    Kevin Carl Fortney, 55, was convicted of lying to a federal court about hiding assets for his brother-in-law, Roger Stanley Bliss, 57, who was involved in a Ponzi scheme. Bliss had violated an asset freeze order by giving his 17 foot catamaran to Fortney.

    Jaswant S. Gill aka Jason Gill, and Javier Rios, 33, were charged by the SEC with running a Ponzi scheme through their companies JSG Capital Investments LLC and JSG Capital LLC. The scheme allegedly defrauded about 200 investors out of $10 million by promising to buy pre-IPO shares in companies like Airbnb and Uber.

    Wenxing Huang aka "Di Peng" aka "Fatty," 33, was charged with operating an alleged $6.9 million Ponzi scheme. Huang is the owner of Ju Ding, Inc., an investment company that brought in funds from about 400 investors who thought they were investing in technology based on graphene, a layer of pure carbon that is only one atom thick.

 David B. Kaplan and his three entities, Synchronized Organizational Solutions LLCSynchronized Organizational Solutions International Ltd.; Manna International Enterprises Inc., were the subject of charges by the SEC that they were allegedly running a Ponzi scheme. The scheme allegedly raised $15.8 million from at least 26 investors by promising investors an offshore investment opportunity. The Water-Walking Foundation Inc., Lisa M. KaplanThe Water Walking Foundation, and Manna Investments LLC were named as relief defendants.

    Amanda Knorr, 33, pleaded guilty to a $54 million Ponzi scheme run through Mantria Corp. Knorr ran the scheme with Troy Wragg. The scheme promised returns from green energy technology that was never developed. More than 300 investors were defrauded.

    Christopher Maguire, 33, pleaded guilty to charges that he ran a $13.4 million Ponzi scheme through his company, Vivid Funding. Maguire told investors that he had a "proof of funds" loan business and that he had a software company called M-Development. Maguire represented that he could make a 20% profit on funds.

    Frank Mazzola, 49, had his request to unfreeze his assets denied. Mazzola, his uncle John Bivona, 75, and the investment funds, Saddle River Advisors and SRA Management Associates, were the subjects of an asset freeze requested by the SEC in which the SEC alleged that they had raised more than $53 million from investors in pre-IPO tech companies. Mazzola asked the judge to unfreeze $13,280 per month to cover living expenses and $35,450 to pay off debt, but the Court denied the request since Mazzola had asserted the Fifth Amendment and refused to disclose assets or income.

    William Risinger, 44, was sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $3.7 million in restitution for his role in three oil, gas and mineral schemes. Risinger was the owner of RHM Exploration LLC and had lost an estimated $500,000 while gambling in late 2015 and early 2016.

    Keith Michael Rogers, 42, was sentenced to 10 years following his guilty plea in March to defrauding investors out of $2.5 million.

    Richard Shusterman, 53, was convicted by a jury on multiple counts relating to a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors and lenders out of $278 million. Shusterman sold fraudulent investment portfolios of debts that were purportedly owed by hospital patents. Shusterman conspired with Robert Feldman and ran the scheme through the companies, International Portfolio, Inc. and United Consulting Inc. Two other individuals, Jonathan Rosenberg and Douglas Kuber, operated Account Receivable Services LLC and agreed to promote the sale of the debt portfolio.

    Lawrence Paul "Larry" Stephens, 52, was arrested on allegations that he ran a $4.5 million Ponzi scheme. The victims were 4 individuals and a couple. Stephens had been doing accounting and handling bookkeeping for clients through Brylaw Accounting Firm for years but did not have an accounting license. Brylaw is still open but was placed on probation in September.

    Donell Thomas lost his motion to vacate his 94 month prison sentence arising from a Ponzi scheme involving short terms real estate sales in the Chicago area. United States v. Thomas, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63955 (May 16, 2016).



    Virginia Mary Tan, 64, and her husband Patrick Eng Tien Tan, 73, are accused of running a $40 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded 50 investors. Their son, Marcus Soon-Keen Tan, has also been named in some of the civil claims pending against them. Investors were promised 12% to 24% interest in connection with the payday loan business and other finance investments.

    Rashida Samji, 63, already facing a $33 million fine, was found guilty on charges relating to a $110 million Ponzi scheme. The scheme defrauded more than 200 investors who believed they were purchasing an investment in a winery that did not exist.


    Xu Qin, 35, a top executive at Zhongjin Capital Management (Wealthroll Asset Management Co.), confessed on state television to operating "an extremely typical Ponzi scheme." Qin had been arrested last month on his way to get married, along with at least 20 other executives, for defrauding more than 25,000 investors out of $6.1 billion. Some have said that public confessions in China are often forced and can violate due process rights.


    Spencer Steinberg, 46, Michael Strubel, 54, and Jolan Saunders, 40, were sentenced to 6 years nine months, 7 years, and 7 years, respectively, for their role in a £79.5 million Ponzi scheme run through Saunders Electrical Wholesalers Limited. The scheme defrauded about 91 victims, whose money was used to buy expensive yachts, property and cars for the three defendants. Investors were told that the company supplied electrical goods to major hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton.


    Subash Srichandan, one of the directors of Ashirbad Multipurpose Cooperative Ltd., was arrested on charges that he defrauded investors out of about Rs 10 crore.

  The Ponzi scheme known as IAmAuctioningDirect, which was run by Ingula Investments, has collapsed. The scheme was operated by Norman Mhlongo and defrauded 36,000 people by promising them daily interest of 3%.


    Immigration police took British man, Mark Hallett, 48, into custody for allegedly overstaying his visa. Hallet is wanted in the UK for his role in an alleged Ponzi scheme.


    TD Ameritrade and Integrity Bank & Trust were added to a proposed class action filed by investors of Aequitas Management LLC, which already named Deloitte & Touche LLP and Sidley Austin. Investors allege that the firms should be held accountable for "$600 million in alleged losses suffered by more than 1,500 investors."

    Amir Isaiah, the court-appointed receiver of Coravca Distributions LLC, filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase Bank alleging that it aided an international Ponzi scheme that promised profits from Venezuelan and U.S. currency trading. The scheme’s operators, Rosa Aguirre and Diego Corado, allegedly raised money from about 2,000 investors.

    The Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower courts’ decisions denying a motion to compel arbitration in lawsuit filed by the bankruptcy trustee of EPD Investment Company LLC seeking to avoid fraudulent transfers. Kirkland v. Rund (In re EPD Investment Company, LLC), 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8519 (9th Cir. May 9, 2016). The court found that the trustee’s clams were core matters and that he was not bound by the arbitration agreements.

    Steven Hoffenberg, 76, previously sentenced in 1997 to 20 years in prison in connection with a Ponzi scheme, sued Jeffrey Epstein for $500 million, alleging that Epstein was a co-conspirator in the Ponzi scheme.

    The Second Circuit affirmed a decision that dismissed claims of Ritchie Capital Management LLC against General Electric Capital Corp. in connection with the Tom Petters Ponzi scheme. Ritchie Capital Management LLC v. General Electric Capital Corp., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8628 (May 11, 2016). The court found that Ritchie Capital lacked standing to bring the claims for conspiracy and aiding and abetting.

    As Chadbourne & Parke agreed to pay $35 million to settle claims of investors of R. Allen Stanford’s scheme, a new class action was filed against Proskauer Rose claiming $5 billion in damages.

    The trustee of the TelexFree bankruptcy case filed a lawsuit against Gerald Nehra and the Nehra and Waak law firm, alleging that they were "actively involved" in promoting the Ponzi scheme.

    A claims bar date has been established in the TelexFree case for September 26, 2016. An electronic claims portal has been established at The notice of the claims bar date can be found at:

   The ZeekRewards receiver obtained permission from the court to pay certain foreign affiliates by wire since they were unable to cash checks from the U.S.-based receivership.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 2016 Ponzi Scheme Roundup

Posted by Kathy Bazoian Phelps

    Below is a summary of the activity reported for April 2016. The reported stories reflect: 3 guilty pleas or convictions in pending cases; over 26 years of newly imposed sentences for people involved in Ponzi schemes; at least 10 new Ponzi schemes worldwide; and an average age of approximately 50 for the alleged Ponzi schemers. Please feel free to post comments about these or other Ponzi schemes that I may have missed. And please remember that I am just relaying what’s in the news, not writing or verifying it.

    Alisa Adler, 55, was indicted on a wire charge relating to an alleged Ponzi scheme run through ASG Real Estate Services Group. The indictment alleged that Adler took about $740,000 from 3 investors, promising them returns through real estate transactions. The wire charge was added to other charges brought against Adler last year.

    Aequitas Capital Management and its founder and CEO, Robert J. Jesenik, 56, executive vice president, Brian A. Oliver, 51, and chief operating officer, N. Scott Gillis, 62, were the subject of SEC charges that they were running a "Ponzi-like" scheme. The company agreed to the appointment of a receiver about one month after it had announced layoffs and hired a consulting firm to help it wind down the business. Aequitas stopped making payments on over $300 million in private notes that it sold to investors. Aequitas had entered into an agreement to buy hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of student loans from Corinthian Colleges, which itself ended up in bankruptcy. The Corinthian notes may have accounted for 74% of Aequitas’ debt-buying business and had been paying $4 million to $7 million to Aequitas prior to defaulting on the obligations to Aequitas. Aequitas promised interest to investors of 5% to 15% on the $350 million it brought in from investors from January 2014 to January 2016.

    Scott A. Beatty was criminally charged in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme run through Peak Capital Management Group Inc. and Peak Capital Group Inc. Beatty solicited funds into his companies which were supposedly engaged in foreign exchange trading, and he promised returns as high as 43.9%. A total of $825,000 was raised from 49 investors.

    Daniel Bonventre, 68, Annette Bongiorno, 67, Joann Crupi, 54, Jerome O’Hara, 53, and George Perez, 50, lost the appeal of their criminal judgments. United States v. Bonventre, et al., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7097 (2d Cir. April 20, 2016). They were each convicted and sentenced in connection with the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.

    Joseph Castellano, 58, was charged in connection with an alleged scheme that defrauded 10 people out of more than $1.5 million. Castellano, a certified public accountant who owns Castellano & Company, LLC, operated several business such as Casbo Investments, Wallingford Investors Limited Partnership, AIM Realty Investors, and Castellano & Co. LLC. He solicited funds from investors by promising them returns of 6% to 8% and by telling them that he had clients who needed capital for business or real estate projects but who could not get funding from financial institutions.

    James A. Catipay, 39, David Aldridge, 43, and their company, PLCMGMT LLC aka Prometheus Law, were charged by the SEC with running a Ponzi scheme. Catipay, a Michigan tax attorney, and Aldridge, a Washington state legal marketer, took money from investors to allegedly fund personal injury and mass tort cases, promising that the funds were "never at risk" and promising returns of 100% to 300%. The SEC alleges that 250 investors were defrauded out of $11.7 million. The defendants offered what they called "forward contracts" that would pay off after a certain amount of time and that stated that the mass tort cases "had settlement funds just waiting in escrow to be claimed." The SEC alleged that it is illegal for an attorney and a non-lawyer to share to share legal fees and that fee splitting agreements are unenforceable.

    Cheong Wha "Heywood" Chang, 48, and his wife, Toni Chen, 47, pleaded to charges that they were running a scheme through CKB168, a company that supposedly sold children’s educational courses. They represented that with each $1,380 investment, investors would receive "Profit Reward Points" with a purported value of $750. Others facing charges in connection with the scheme are Wen Chen "Wendy" Lee, Daliang "David" Guo and Chih Hsuan "Kiki" Lin.

    Anthony Ciccone, 43, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for his role as a broker in the Agape World Ponzi scheme. Ciccone had made nearly $15 million in commissions from selling bogus investments in Agape World. He was ordered to pay more than $179 million in restitution, which is the same amount that Nicholas Cosmo and Jason Keryc were ordered to pay. Keryc was previously sentenced to 9 years and Cosmo was sentenced to 25 years in connection with the scheme the defrauded more than 4,000 victims and took in $179 million. Others who have previously pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme are Shamika Luciano, Hugo Arias, Bryan Arias, Richard Barry, and Anthony Massaro.

    John Scott Clark, 62, was charged by the SEC with soliciting about $1.7 million from investors, including investors from an earlier Ponzi scheme that brought in $47 million. Clark targeted members of his church and promised them 3,000% returns per year. He represented that the investment risk was low and that the returns "were too good to be true." He also said that "[all] you have to do for that [return] is not talk about it." The victims believed that Clark had access to a top secret U.S. military and government program that enabled them to invest in "top secret" Iraqi dinar and oil contracts with foreign governments and large oil companies. Clark blamed President Obama when he stopped making payments because Obama had supposedly signed an executive order halting the investment payout.

    Fred Elm, 46, and Ahmed Naqvi, 47, were charged in connection with an alleged $17 million Ponzi scheme run through Elm Tree Investment Advisors. They allegedly defrauded more than 50 investors in promising returns from their purported access to private companies when they were pre –IPO, such as Twitter, Alibaba and Uber. Elm and Naqvi promised investors a 2% management fee and they would take 20% of any profit, but the fund did not make any profit.

    Evolution Market Group dba Finanzas Forex was the subject of a forfeiture judgment, and the government seized about $40 million in funds and $138 million worth of gold and silver. The funds will be distributed to victims of Evolution and Finanzas through the remission process.

    Charles Caleb Fackrell, 36, pleaded guilty to charges that he solicited more than $1.4 million from customers of Fackrell Trivette Wealth Management through his position as a registered securities representative. He solicited investors into his companies, Robin Hood, LLC, Robinhood LLC, Robin Hood Holdings, LLC, Robinhood Holdings, LLC, and related entities. His scheme defrauded about 20 investors by promising them 5% to 7% returns, but he used the majority of the money for his personal expenses.

    Roy Fluker, III, lost his motion to vacate his conviction and sentence. Fluker III v. United States, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53823 (N.D. Ill. April 22, 2016). Fluker ran a Ponzi scheme, along with his father, Roy Fluker Jr. and his sister, Ronnaita Fluker, through their companies, All Things in Common LLC dba More than Enough, Inc., and Locust International LLC. They operated two investment programs, the Spend and Redeem program and the Housing program, in which they guaranteed investments would triple after one year. 

    Robert B. Hahn was sentenced to 3 years in prison for a Ponzi scheme that he operated claiming to represent a collection of physicians hoping to raise capital for construction and other expenses related to a medical center. Hahn promised 94 investors returns of 20% annually. He brought in more than $5,474,000 and returned more than $4 million to 31 of the participants.

    Evan Kochav, 34, was sentenced to 8 years in connection with a $500,000 Ponzi scheme that he ran through White Cedar Group LLC. Kochav, a poker player, solicited investors to invest in businesses and investment vehicles in the fields of real estate, manufacturing, building development, oil drilling and mineral rights.

    Stuart Millner, 76, pleaded not guilty to charges that he was running a multi-million Ponzi scheme through his company, Stuart Millner and Associates. The business auctioned off manufacturing machinery for major corporations.

    MMM Global announced that it is closing its Republic of Bitcoin website that promised up to 100% returns on donations, calling it an experiment that has failed. Participants donated funds to acquire "Mavro" – a point system – which have now been transferred to MMM-structures in participants’ countries. China and South Africa have both warned that MMM Global, run by Sergey Mavrodi, is a Ponzi scheme. 

   Aaron E. Olson, 42, was sentenced to 5 years in prison in connection with a $28 million Ponzi scheme he ran through AEO Associates and KMO Associates LLC. The judge had extended the sentencing date by months to give Olson the opportunity to sell a gravel pit, but was unwilling to further extend the date to allow him to meet with a buyer for some granite.

  Christopher Pedras aka Antone Thomas Pedras was the subject of an extradition motion to face charges in connection with an alleged $8 million Ponzi scheme. Pedras, a former Auckland, New Zealand resident, is residing in Tonga and is accused of defrauding investors through his company, FMP Medical Services, which was supposedly setting up dialysis clinics. The SEC named Pedras, FMP and other U.S. companies in a complaint accusing them of luring investors into investing into a profitable trading platform in which Pedras’ company served as an intermediary between global banks. Pedras promised investors returns of 4% to 8% per month, and then steered investors into a program that would purportedly increase the value of their investment by 80%. A default judgment was entered against Pedras in 2014 for $3.2 million.

    Hamlet Peralta, 36, who owned the now closed Hudson River Café, was accused of soliciting investors for a fake wholesale liquor business through West 125th Street Liquors which he represented had exclusive distribution rights for wine to a national restaurant supply company. In reality, he did not own the business and had not been approved as the wine distributor. He brought in more than $12 million from 12 investors and promised investors short term rates of return from 2% to 4%.

    Ariel Quiros, 58, and William Stenger, 66, were charged by the SEC with running an alleged Ponzi scheme through a government immigration program in connection with the Jay Peak Ski Resort owned by Q Resorts Inc. and Q Burke Mountain Resort in northern Vermont. The scheme took in $200 million, promising foreigners the benefit of the EB-5 Immigration Investor Program, which allows foreigners who invest in U.S. companies to obtain green cards. The investors’ money was supposed to fund seven projects, including the resort’s expansion, an indoor water park, an ice rink, hotels, golf courses and a $200 million biotechnology plant. Quiros allegedly took $50 million of the funds to pay his income taxes and buy a luxury condominium in Trump Place in Manhattan. A receiver was appointed over the related corporations and the receiver has established a website at where investors can find information about the receivership.

    Charles Sanders, the former chief compliance and chief risk officer of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust, entered into a consent order with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, without admitting or denying the OCC’s findings. The OCC had alleged that Sanders had failed to "file suspicious activity reports on a set of accounts for a customer that was later convicted of crime related to an illegal Ponzi scheme." The customer was Scott Rothstein, who was running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Sanders agreed to a $2,500 fine and to present a copy of the order to any depository institution from which he seeks employment in the future.

    Malcolm Segal, 70, settled with the SEC after he was charged with selling $8.1 million in fake CDs through his company National CD Sales. Segal told investor that he was purchasing CDs for them that paid annual interest of up to12% but instead used the funds for personal expenses and to make payments to other investors. Segal agreed to be barred from the securities industry.

    Jim Torchia was the subject of preliminary injunction sought by the SEC order, and a receiver was appointed over his companies, including Credit Nation. The SEC accused Torchia of misleading investors, and the court found that there was a "reasonable likelihood of future securities violations."



    Vehbi Alimuca was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in jail for hiding $328,000 worth of stolen money from a failed pyramid investment scheme he had operated from 1997 to 2016. Alimuca already served 8 years in prison for the scheme run through Vefa Company in which he stole $325 million from 58,000 people.


    A suspected Ponzi scheme being run through Zhongjin Capital Management was raided and its owner, Xu Qin, was apprehended at an airport as he attempted to flee the country. More than 20 people were taken into custody for questioning. The scheme is believed to have raised more than 30 billion yuan (HK $35.9 million) and is under investigation for the unauthorized acceptance of public deposits and fraud. Zhongjin promised interest rates of up to 2% per month for online promotions and sponsorship deals for blockbuster television programs.

    Authorities are investigating Yiqian Funding aka Easy Richness as a possible Ponzi scheme. Yiqian is the parent company in China of Founders Group International (FGI) and is behind the purchases of 22 Grand Strand golf courses and other golf-related businesses and properties in Myrtle Beach. Dan Liu is the president of Yiqian Funding and Xian "Nick" Dou, is the president of FGI.

    Police in Hangzhou are searching for Yang Weiguo, the chairman of Wangzhou Group, which is the parent company of Wangzhou Fortune. Weiguo disappeared with about 1 billion yuan (£106.55 million) of investor funds. More than 20,000 people had invested about 2.2 billion yuan in Wangzhou Fortune which has dozens of branches around China. Wangzhou Group has more than 200 subsidiaries in commerce, automobiles, health and wealth management. Weiguo showed himself in a video stating "Don’t worry, I’ll be right back."


    The City of London Police seized £30 million in banker’s drafts following the arrest of a 58 year old South Wales man who has not yet been identified by name. The funds are suspected to have been obtained from a foreign exchange Ponzi scheme on the foreign market and from money laundering activity.


    The CBI raided four premises of Astha International Limited, an alleged Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of about Rs 100 crore.

    The government moved to attach property of A B Realtech, a firm accused of running a Rs 5 crore Ponzi scheme.

    The CBI arrested Mahesh Kishan Motewar, who is the managing director of Samruddh Jeevan Foods India Limited. Motewar is alleged to have collected over Rs 1,500 crore.


    Amidst allegations that it was running a Ponzi scheme, the president of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards, denied any wrongdoing and demanded a retraction. JAMPRO is a government-funded agency to promote investment and export opportunities in the country to attract foreign investment and to increase the export of Jamaican products. It is alleged that JAMPRO operated a $10 million Ponzi scheme, claiming to generate profits from bridge loans to businesses in Jamaica. Last month, Mark Jones was charged by the SEC for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme claiming to generate profits from bridge loans to businesses in Jamaica. Jones owns 49% of Global Gateway Solutions (GGS), and Jacqueline Sutherland owns 51%. GGS was promoted by JAMPRO as one of its success stories.

New Zealand

    Gavin Clifford Bennett was freed from jail after serving less than half of his 8 year sentence. Bennett ran a $103 million fraud through his company, DataSouth, in which he supposedly arranged loans to finance computer systems for clients through Canterbury Finance.

South Africa

    Representatives of Triple M, an alleged Ponzi scheme, refuted reports that the scheme has collapsed. The headquarters of Triple M are in Russia, but thousands of South Africans are believed to have invested in the scheme, which initially promised 100% returns on investments in 30 days but later changed that to 30%.


    Deloitte & Touche was sued by investors of Aequitas Capital Management in connection with the alleged $350 million Ponzi scheme. Deloitte prepared the 2014 and 2015 audited financial statements for Aequitas. Accounting firm EisnerAmper, and law firms Sidley Austin LLP and Tonkon Torp were also named in the suit. 

    The victims of the Ponzi scheme of the Ron Wilson scheme that he ran through Atlantic Bullion & Coin, Inc., are scheduled to receive a pro rata distribution of $7 million to be distributed by the receiver in that case. The initial distribution will result in a 19.22% recovery on claims in the $60 million Ponzi scheme. Wilson had defrauded over 1,000 investors promising them profits from ownership of silver without taking possession of the silver.

    The receiver over the Atlantic Bullion & Coin Ponzi scheme is in a legal battle with NCUA over whether NCUA should be allowed to recover its entire $100,000 investment because the funds were embezzled from the Taupa Lithuanian Credit Union by John Struna and invested into the scheme. The NCUA is seeking to recover money wrongfully obtained and fraudulent transferred by Struna. The receiver has responded that Taupa had unclean hands and that NCUA stands in the shoes of Taupa, arguing that NCUA would be unjustly enriched if it call all of the money back ahead of other victims.

    The IRS denies the DBSI Inc. trustee’s claims that it ought to surrender funds paid to the IRS in connection with transactions run through DBSI. The trustee seeks the return of taxes paid on fictitious profits generated by DBSI’s 1031 tax exchange business. The trustee won an $18.6 million default judgment against the firm’s former president Douglas Swenson in connection with the operation of the scheme run through its investment company, FOR 1031 LLC.

    A lawsuit was filed by 69 victims of the alleged Ponzi scheme allegedly run by Glenn S. Gitomer, an attorney at the firm of McCausland Keen & Buckman. The lawsuit seeks more than $11 million from Ameriprise Financial Services, Fulton Bank National Association and Riverview Bank for allegedly turning a blind eye to suspicious transactions and ignoring red flags of a Ponzi scheme.

    Barry Switzer, former Oklahoma football coach, prevailed in a lawsuit filed by the trustee of the GLC, Ltd’s bankruptcy estate. The trustee sued Switzer for monies paid on a $250,000 loan that a company owned by Switzer, Barry Switzer Family, LLC, had made to GLC Ltd, which had been later purchased by Jim Donnan, former Georgia coach, from Switzer. Donnan had invested in GLC and had personally guaranteed the loan. Donnan had previously been acquitted by a jury in connection with the alleged $80 million Ponzi scheme. Donnan’s business partner, Gregory Crabtree, had pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme. 

    The trustee in the Bernard Madoff case is seeking approval of a settlement with Dorado Investment Company, its general partners, and the Phileona Foundation in which they agreed to give back $30.2 million in proceeds they received from the Madoff scheme.

    Bernard Madoff will be deposed in connection with litigation pending between former investors of Madoff and the Madoff trustee. The investors want to question Madoff about how he kept records of the customers’ transactions. The questions will be limited to the meaning of more than 91,000 transactions that were recorded as "profit withdrawal" on the books of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

    Meridian Capital Partners Inc. and related entities will pay $6.15 million to resolve litigation bought by Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers in connection with the Bernard Madoff scheme.

    JPMorgan’s motion to dismiss a complaint against it that it aided and abetted Millennium Bank’s scheme was denied. The court found that the plaintiffs had supported claims that the manager of the JPMorgan Napa branch had offered "substantial assistance" to the scheme by helping Millennium keep its account open despite signs that it was engaged in suspicious activity.

    The Ponzi scheme run by Fidentia has been linked to offshore asset concealment in the Panama Papers. The Panama Papers consist of 11.5 million documents leaked from the law firm of Mossack Fonesca and have implicated many world leaders and other high profile individuals to the use of secret offshore shell companies to conceal assets. Two convicted members of Fidentia who ran a Ponzi scheme, accountant Maddock and ex-broker Steven Goodwin, used the law firm to create offshore companies when Fidentia’s Ponzi scheme was exposed.

    Robert Miracle, 55, who was sentenced in 2011 to 13 years in prison in connection with a $65 million Ponzi scheme, has also been linked to offshore dealings by the Panama Papers