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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.
INTERNATIONAL PONZI SCHEME NEWS
Australia
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.
Canada
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.
China
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%.
England
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.
India
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.
Israel
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.
Italy
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.
Singapore
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.
NEWSWORTHY LEGAL ISSUES IN PENDING PONZI SCHEME CASES
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.

Jan 2016 - The Ponzi Scheme Blog


Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 Ponzi Scheme Roundup

Posted by Kathy Bazoian Phelps

Below is a summary of the activity reported for January 2016. The reported stories reflect: 5 guilty pleas or convictions in pending cases; over 70 years of newly imposed sentences for people involved in Ponzi schemes; at least 5 new Ponzi schemes worldwide; 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.

Angelo A. Alleca, 46, and Mark Morrow, 54, were indicted on charges that they operated a Ponzi scheme through Summit Wealth Management and Detroit Memorial Partners, promising returns to investors from investments in hedge funds and fixed-income securities. They falsely promised investors promissory notes secured by real property. The scheme allegedly defrauded more than 300 investors out of $35 million.

Lori Ann Anderson, 53, pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded about 70 investors out of over $1.7 million. Her investment business, SMTS Association, was a type of trading club.

Nikolai S. Battoo was the subject of a $500 million fine and restitution order in connection with a $140 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded about 250 pool participants. He ran a group of businesses under the name BC Capital Group. The CFTC sued them for fraud 3 years ago alleging that they committed fraud by failing to disclose the exposure of their investments in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme as well as other trading losses that were suffered.

Roger Stanley Bliss, 57, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison in connection with a Ponzi scheme. He was convicted for obstruction of justice and a false declaration for violating a court order obtained by the SEC to freeze his assets when he gave his sailboat to his brother-in-law, Kevin Carl Fortney.

Diane Cobb, 58, was sentenced to 41 months in prison for her operation of a Ponzi scheme along with her business partner, Paul Sloane Davis, 76, through DM Financial. Cobb is a former mortgage broker who defrauded investors by promising returns from bridge loans that would be made to borrowers to purchase residential real estate. Cobb and Davis profited by more than $1 million from the scheme. Davis was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

Darryle Douglas is still the subject of an ongoing investigation and is wanted by the FBI, following his arrest that was ordered last month. Douglas violated a court order in connection with the ZeekRewards receivership case to turn over the ZeekRewards database and other information. Douglas is believed to now be associated with another possible scheme, Auction Attics.

Chad R. Deucher, Richard Clatfelter, and Marquis Properties LLC were named in an SEC complaint seeking an asset freeze.  The SEC alleged that the defendants were operating a Ponzi scheme and promising returns of 8% to 12% annually that were supposedly risk-free because the investments would be secured by a first deed of trust on the property. The scheme raised at least $28.2 million from more than 250 people. Marquis was supposedly an experienced property management company that specialized in acquiring and managing properties and was selling interests in "turnkey real estate properties, promissory notes secured by real properties, and joint venture agreements to purchase real properties." The SEC alleged that investor funds were used to pay personal expenses, including payment of about $400,000 to Deucher’s wife.

Rebekah Fairchild and Rebekah L. Riddell both agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy in connection with the $70 million Ponzi scheme run by William Apostelos. The scheme allegedly defrauded nearly 500 investors. Apostelos and his wife, Connie Apostelos, are free on bail pending their trial scheduled for May 2016. Fairchild was the receptionist for the business and handled accounts and banking activities. Riddell was an administrative assistant who allegedly prepared promissory notes, prepared investor statements, and communicated with investors.

Tate George, 47, was sentenced to 9 years in prison and ordered to pay $2.55 million in restitution in connection with a Ponzi scheme he operated through The George Group. George is a former professional basketball player who defrauded victims, including other professional athletes, by promising them returns from a supposedly successful real estate development company that had a portfolio of $500 million in assets.

Coral Rose Grant and her husband, Mac Grant, were accused in a class action lawsuit of running a Ponzi scheme through their company, The Secret to Life Coaching. The lawsuit alleges that Coral and Mac stole between $8 million and $20 million.

Lawrence Leland "Lee" Loomis, 58, pleaded guilty to charges related to a Ponzi scheme in which he took in more than $10 million of investor funds from 50 individuals through his company Loomis Wealth Solutions. Loomis promised 12% returns to investors through the purchase of life insurance policies or real estate investments.

Matthew McClintock aka Michael Willis was accused of defrauding at least 70 investors and 9 businesses in an alleged Ponzi scheme involved $25,000. McClintock solicited investors for a film project that purportedly featured Clint Eastwood. McClintock promised that the show would air on PBS and that a portion of the proceeds would go to the Western Montana Breast Cancer Fund.

Steven McKinlay, 58, and his wife, Kristi McKinlay, 56, were charged with running a Ponzi scheme through their company, God’s Sports Company. The company raised more than $3 million from investors for a prototype baseball. The funds were used to make payments to existing investors, for personal expenses, and for at least a $50,000 donation to their church.

Istvan Merchenthaler, 45, was sentenced to 11 years and 8 months in prison and ordered to pay $3.4 million in restitution in connection with a scheme that defrauded more than 250 investors out of $3 million. The scheme was run through his company, PhoneCard USA, a supposed prepaid phone-card and cellphone distributor. Merchenthaler was arrested in 2012 and fled when he was out on bail, but was ultimately located in 2013 when authorities found him along with multiple firearms and ammunition.

James E. Neilsen, 55, was sentenced to 8 years and one month in prison in connection with his Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of $1.6 million. The scheme was run through Ulysses Partners and Neilsen Financial Services. Investors were promised returns of 9% to 10.5%.

Brent Lee Newbold, 58, was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison and ordered to pay $2.9 million in restitution in connection with a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 13 investors.

Rose Marie O’Reilly, 63, was sentenced to 4 years in prison and ordered to repay around $1.4 million in restitution in connection with a Ponzi scheme involving pink diamonds and silver antiques. O’Reilly defrauded investors by falsely claiming that she could buy and sell items owned by famous musicians or mob bosses for huge profits. O’Reilly had pleaded guilty last year.

Randy Poulson, 45, was sentenced to 6 years in prison for a Ponzi scheme that he ran through Equity Capital Investments. Poulson had admitted defrauding distressed homeowners by coaxing them to give him their houses and then soliciting fake real estate investments from private investors secured by those properties. Poulson netted more than $3 million from the scheme.

Richard Reynolds, 54, filed an appeal of his conviction relating to a $4 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded 140 investors. Reynolds was sentenced to 60 years in prison and ordered to pay $4.45 million in restitution. Prosecutors allege that Reynolds used his affinity with ministers, pastors, evangelists and other church-related people to solicit investors. Reynolds has appealed, claiming that the lower court improperly denied his motion to dismiss the case for a speedy trial violation.

Jeffrey Bruce Risinger has been barred for life from ever working in the securities industry or associating with any FINRA member institution. The sanction stems from an alleged Ponzi scheme that raised $15 million from 80 investors. Risinger ran the scheme through Veros Partners along with Matthew D. Haab and Tobin J. Senefeld.

Joel Wilson, 33, was convicted on charges including securities fraud in Saginaw County. Last year, Wilson was sentenced to 8 years to 20 years in connection with his scheme run through The Diversified Group Advisory Fund LLC. The scheme defrauded about 120 investors of about $6.4 million.

Thomas Franklin Tarbutton, 56, was found guilty in connection with a scheme run through Villa Capital Inc. that involved 11 victims and over $3 million. Investors understood that they were funding mortgages that would pay quick profits. A warrant had been issued for Tarbutton’s arrest in 2011, and Tarbutton fled to Brazil and then to Panama. He was detained in Panama in 2014, and returned to the U.S. to stand trial.

Steven Wessel aka Wes Wessels, 58, was sentenced to 4 years and 7 months in prison and ordered to pay $499,000 in restitution for his role in a scheme run through Steeplechase USA, LLC.

Robert Scott Wiens, 53, was sentenced to one year in jail and agreed to pay $260,000 out of $734,140 in restitution. Wiens had promoted an investment program in RXM Holdings Ltd., which he held out to be a proprietary trading operation. Wiens claimed to be a specialist in the purchase and sale of U.S. Stock Index future contracts.

Lorie Ann Williams, 49, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for her role in evading requirements for bank reporting in connection with the her husband’s involvement in the $900 million Nevin Shapiro Ponzi scheme run through Capitol Investments USA Inc. Williams’ husband, Sydney "Jack" Williams, had brought about 60 people into the scheme and he was paid about $18 million in commissions while the investors lost $38 million. Lori Williams began withdrawing funds from her husband’s account in increments of less than the $10,000 limit to evade the currency reporting threshold after lawsuits were filed against him.

Joseph Paul Zada, 57, was sentenced to 17½ years in prison in connection with a scheme in which he defrauded more than 20 investors out of more than $20 million and possibly as much as $37 million. Zada promised that he would put the investors’ funds into oil ventures and currency trading through a top-secret board headquartered in London.

INTERNATIONAL PONZI SCHEME NEWS

Australia

Provisional liquidators were appointed over 5 companies believed to be operating a Ponzi scheme. The companies are CME Capital Australia Pty Ltd., Boston Pacific Capital Australia Pty Ltd., GKN Capital Pty Ltd., Boston Pacific Capital Pty Ltd. and IMCG Pty Ltd. The companies raised about $13.55 million from investors. ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank of Austria were listed among the 13 co-defendants in the case.

Canada

The trial of Quintin Earl Sponagle, 51, was moved to Halifax due to the long length expected for the trial. Sponagle sought to further delay the trial because he does not have counsel. He is accused of defrauding 179 investors out of more than $4 million through his company, Jabez Financial Services Inc.

China

The government issued a warning to the public that the Russian-based website run by Sergei Mavrodi, known as MMM Global, is operating illegally in the country and is unlicensed to attract investors online. The notice stated that Mavrodi had served 4½ years in prison because of prior activities in defrauding investors.

India

Nirmal Singh Bhangoo was arrested in connection with his role in the Pearls Group Ponzi scheme. Bhangoo was affiliated of both PGF Limited and Pearls Australasia Private Limited. Others arrested in connection with the scheme are Sukhdev Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Subrata Bhattacharya. They were arrested almost two years after CBI had begun investigating the alleged Rs 45,000-crore ($6.7 billion) Ponzi scheme. The Pearl entities own more than 183,000 acres of land in India, and the scheme is believed to have defrauded 55 million investors.

The CBI took Gautam Kundu into custody. Kunda was the head of the Rose Valley Ponzi scheme.

Singapore

Sim Tee Peng pleaded guilty to having defrauded 21 victims out of more than $1,785,000 by acting as a paralegal supposedly helping four law firms. Peng represented himself as a lawyer and took victims money who thought they were buying properties for the purpose of paying conveyancing fees. He would instruct victims to deposit stamp duty payments into his personal bank account, telling the victims that he had issued payments on their behalf.

NEWSWORTHY LEGAL ISSUES IN PENDING PONZI SCHEME CASES

The Sixth Circuit upheld the convictions of John Joseph Bravata and Antonio Bravata and also upheld John Bravata’s 20 year sentence. U.S. v. Bravata, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1120 (6th Cir. Jan. 22, 2016). The father and son had been convicted of running a Ponzi scheme through BBC Equities, LLC. A third defendant, Richard Trabulsy, had pleaded guilty prior to trial. Antonio did not appeal his 5 year sentence.

The Tenth Circuit reversed the district court’s order dismissing the criminal case against Claud "Rick" Koerber with prejudice. U.S. v. Koerber, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 994 (10th Cir. Jan. 21, 2016). Koerber was indicted on charges that he ran a $100 million Ponzi scheme, but his criminal case remained pending for more than 5 years without reaching trial. The district court found a violation of the Speedy Trial Act, but the appellate court remanded, finding that the district court abused its discretion by considering improper factors regarding the seriousness-of-the-offense factors and by failing to fully consider Koerber’s own actions that may have contributed to the speedy-trial delay.

The trustee of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme reached a settlement with Vizcaya Partners Ltd. a British Virgin Islands hedge fund, and its affiliates. Vizcaya agreed to pay $24.9 million to the trustee for their role as a feeder fund in the Madoff scheme.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP agreed to pay $55 million in connection with the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that it failed to recognize and alert investors to red flags in connection with the scheme. The settlement will be paid to owners of shares or limited partnership interests in funds managed by Fairfield Greenwich Ltd. PWC did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement.

The Second Circuit ruled that James Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., along with 12 others, cannot be sued by the Steamfitters Local 449 Pension Fund and the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund for the alleged failure to flag irregular transactions in the account of Bernard Madoff’s business. The lawsuit had alleged that "JPMorgan – at its highest level – chose to turn a blind eye."

An appellate court upheld a lower court decision in the Bernard Madoff case determining the proper method for calculating customers’ claims involving inter-account transfers .

A New York court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against KPMG International and KPMG U.K. accusing them of wrongful conduct in connection with audits of Madoff Securities International Ltd. The court held that the New York courts did not have jurisdiction over the claims because the harm did not occur in New York.

A New York appeals court upheld the lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by investors in Bernard Madoff’s scheme that alleged HSBC Private Bank had breached its fiduciary duty and had wrongfully frozen their assets. The court found that the accounts agreements explicitly authorized the bank to freeze the accounts.

The Sixth Circuit denied the appeal of David McQueen, seeking to overturn his conviction.  U.S. v. McQueen, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1052 (6th Cir. Jan. 19, 2016). McQueen was sentenced to 12 years in connection with a Ponzi scheme he had run through Multiple Return Trading along with Trent Francke. The scheme defrauded about 800 investors out of $46 million. McQueen had also established three other investment funds – International Opportunity Consultants, Diversified Global Finance and Diversified Liquid Asset Holdings. The appellate court found that sufficient evidence to convict McQueen and that his sentence did not violate the Eighth or Fourteenth Amendments and was not substantively or procedurally unreasonable.

A class action was filed against City National Bank, alleging that the bank helped Joel Barry Gillis, 75, and Edward Wishner, 77, run a $125 million Ponzi scheme through Nationwide Automated Systems Inc. City National Bank was the primary bank used by Gillis and Wishner. The investors’ complaint alleged that the bank "had before it the very nuts and bolts of the Ponzi scheme and could not perform even cursory due diligence without bumping up against evidence of the fraud. Not only was defendant City National Bank instrumental in lulling investors into a false sense of security by helping to ensure that virtually none of the fictitious profit checks bounced, but it also routinely served as a reference for Nationwide Automated Systems in its recruitment of potential investors."

The First Circuit affirmed the 242 month sentence of Dilean Reyes-Rivera in connection with a Ponzi scheme he operated largely in Puerto Rico that defrauded more than 230 people out of $22 million. U.S. v. Reyes-Rivera, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1512 (1st Cir. Jan. 29, 2016). The scheme was run through Global Reach Trading in which he was president. Reyes-Rivera had pleaded guilty but appealed the length of his sentence. The appellate court found no error in the lower court’s ruling.

The TelexFree trustee filed a class action lawsuit against alleged winners in the scheme, naming 56 promoters. It is reported that there are between 78,000 and 93,000 other potential defendants who reside outside of the United States to be joined in a class action.  TelexFree had as many as 1.9 million participants.

The trustee in the Tom Petters bankruptcy case filed a plan of liquidation. The plan will create a liquidating trust to distribute the $160 million currently in the estate, plus an additional funds that may be brought into the estate through litigation. Petters, 58, was convicted of running a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

http://theponzibook.blogspot.com/2016_01_01_archive.html

txfi.com Plagiarisma.Net: Plagiarism Checker


56% Unique
Total 1872 chars , 292 words, 7 unique sentence(s).
ResultsQueryDomains (original links)
UniqueFX IS A RELIABLE, SAFE & FAIR TRADING PLATFORMOpen a Free Demo Account FX is an international brokerage house providing top quality financial and investment services all over the world-
About 1 resultsWe are the a major provider of online foreign exchange (Forex) trading services, offering margin FX and commodities trading to individuals and institutional clients world-widetfxi.com
About 2 resultsOur multi-bank liquidity feed, fast execution and flexible leverage options set us apart as an industry leadertfxi.com bluemaxcapital.com
About 1 resultsFX delivers efficient services to all its clientsfacebook.com
UniqueFX s primary belief is that the Forex market is not just for professional investors, traders or institutions; rather that the Forex market should be accessible to everybody-
UniqueIt has been FX s mission to both educate and guide individual investors while providing an unparalleled trading platform which traders can use effortlessly-
About 1 resultsBy simplifying the process, educating investors and standing with them 24 hours a daytfxi.com
UniqueFX has become the premier Forex Broker for every level of investor-
About 1 resultsWith cutting edge trading platform and the ability to trade with ease from anywhere, via computer or mobile phone, trading is easier than ever beforetfxi.com
UniqueFX s development team is always working to create new products designed to help investors make the most of their trading experiences-
UniqueThrough innovation, FX is leading the way in currency trading-
About 1 resultsWe have strong commitment in maintaining long term relationship with our clients and we strive to provide our clients with the very best service and the most competitive conditions in thetfxi.com
UniqueWith a combination of straight-through processing (STP), non-dealing desk (NDD) execution, electronic communication networks (ECN) and stable high quality price feeds from the largest financial institutions, FX is able to offer-
Top plagiarizing domains: tfxi.com (5 matches); facebook.com (1 matches); bluemaxcapital.com (1 matches);
FX IS A RELIABLE, SAFE & FAIR TRADING PLATFORMOpen a Free Demo Account FX is an international brokerage house providing top quality financial and investment services all over the world. We have strong commitment in maintaining long term relationship with our clients and we strive to provide our clients with the very best service and the most competitive conditions in the industry.We are the a major provider of online foreign exchange (Forex) trading services, offering margin FX and commodities trading to individuals and institutional clients world-wide. Our multi-bank liquidity feed, fast execution and flexible leverage options set us apart as an industry leader.FX delivers efficient services to all its clients. With a combination of straight-through processing (STP), non-dealing desk (NDD) execution, electronic communication networks (ECN) and stable high quality price feeds from the largest financial institutions, FX is able to offer low-cost execution to clients, usually reserved only for banks and corporations.FX s primary belief is that the Forex market is not just for professional investors, traders or institutions; rather that the Forex market should be accessible to everybody. It has been FX s mission to both educate and guide individual investors while providing an unparalleled trading platform which traders can use effortlessly. By simplifying the process, educating investors and standing with them 24 hours a day. FX has become the premier Forex Broker for every level of investor.With cutting edge trading platform and the ability to trade with ease from anywhere, via computer or mobile phone, trading is easier than ever before. FX s development team is always working to create new products designed to help investors make the most of their trading experiences. Through innovation, FX is leading the way in currency trading.


http://plagiarisma.net/

tfxi.com - Archived whois lookup from 2016-01-11 - Whoisology

This is an archived whois lookup from 2016-01-11. Click here to view Whoisology's most current historical whois lookup for the domain name tfxi.com. Click any of the records below (address, phone, email, etc) to perform a reverse lookup.

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GODADDY.COM, LLC(52,048,093)
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ccTLD: 2 Changes: -2 City
Not Applicable (253,741)
ccTLD: 7,425 Changes: -548 Region
68100 (5,935)
ccTLD: 177 Changes: +86 Zip / Post
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ccTLD: 25 Changes: +1,927 Country
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https://whoisology.com/archive_15/tfxi.com

TriumphFX

Risk Disclosure

1Introduction

Foreign Exchange carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade with TriumphFX, clients are advised to carefully consider their investment objectives, financial status, level of experience, and risk tolerance. The possibility exists that clients could sustain a loss partial or all of your invested funds and therefore clients are advised not to invest capital that they cannot afford to lose. TriumphFX strongly advises clients to seek advice from an independent financial advisor if there are any doubts concerning the risks associated with foreign exchange.

2Risks on Leveraged Products

TriumphFX provides leverage for clients to trade on margin, from minimum leverage of 1:1 up to a maximum leverage of 1:500. For example, a trading contract on leverage of 1:500 will only require 0.2% of the contract value as margin. Small price movements in the underlying instruments will result in large potential gains/losses on the client's trade.
Trading on margin enables our clients to both receive high potential rewards and high potential losses. Trading on margin carries very high risks and TriumphFX strongly advise clients to evaluate their risk appetite before engaging in any trading activities using the leveraged provide by the company.

3Market Commentary

Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices or other information contained on this website or linked to from this website are provided as general market commentary and do not constitute investment advice. TriumphFX is not liable for any loss or damage, including without limitation to, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.

4Internet Trading Risks

TriumphFX uses an Internet-based trade execution system, employing high-end network services such as Logicworks to facilitate and host our database. Clients are advised that there are risks associated with utilising such a trading system including, but not limited to, the failure of hardware, software, and Internet connection. In an event such unfortunate event did occur the company reserve the rights to void such orders on its judgement.
TriumphFX cannot be held responsible for communication failures, distortions, and/or delays when clients trade via the Internet. TriumphFX employs backup systems and contingency plans to minimise the possibility of system failure.

http://www.tfxi.com/about-us/legal-documents/risk-disclosure

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).

INTERNATIONAL PONZI SCHEME NEWS

Canada

    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.

China

    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.

England

    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.


India

    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%.


Thailand

    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.

NEWSWORTHY LEGAL ISSUES IN PENDING PONZI SCHEME CASES

    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 TelexFreeClaims.com. The notice of the claims bar date can be found at: http://www.kccllc.net/telexfree/document/1440987160531000000000001.

   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. www.emg-ffxremission.com.

    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 jaypeakreceivership.com 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."

INTERNATIONAL PONZI SCHEME NEWS

Albania

    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.

China

    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."

England

    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.

India

    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.

Jamaica

    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%.

NEWSWORTHY LEGAL ISSUES IN PENDING PONZI SCHEME CASES

    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. One of Miracle’s companies, Mccube Petroleum, was a shareholder in offshore companies created by Mossack Fonesca.

    A court approved a plan to pay more $172 million to the victims of Tom Petters. Victims lost about $1.9 billion in the scheme. The scheme involved 150 corporations, including Poloraid, Sun Country Airlines, and an interest in the Fingerhut catalog company. Petter is currently serving a 50 year prison sentence.

    CPA Mutual Insurance Company sued Raggi & Weinstein LLP, which has now dissolved, seeking a ruling that it does not have to indemnify the firm for a $2.4 million negligence jury verdict that stemmed from work the firm did for convicted Ponzi schemer Ira J. Pressman and his company, PJI Distribution Corp.

    The liquidating trustees of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler PA and Banyon Income Fund LP urged the Eleventh Circuit to find that National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. and Twin Cities Fire Insurance Co. should be liable for enabling the scheme to flourish and should cover a $50 million judgment.

    In connection with the Stanford Financial Ponzi scheme, the Texas Supreme Court ruled on a questioned certified to it by the Fifth Circuit in Janvey v. The Golf Channel Inc. The court held that a business who receives a transfer in a Ponzi scheme need not return the money as a fraudulent transfer if it (1) fully performed under a lawful, arm’s-length contract for fair market value, (2) provided consideration that had objective value at the time of the transaction, and (3) made the exchange in the ordinary course of the transferee’s business." Janvey v. The Golf Channel Inc., 2016 Tex. LEXIS 241 (April 1, 2016). 

    St. Anselm Exploration filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy 3 years after it was charged by the SEC with running a Ponzi scheme. The bankruptcy lists $65 million in debtor and about $1.2 million in assets. The SEC alleged that the scheme had defrauded 200 investors.

    The court in the George Theodule receivership case approved the distribution plan of the receiver where he proposes to distribute more than $5 million to the victims on account of their estimated $41 million in losses. Theodule had promised follow Haitian-Americans 100% returns on their money within 90 days if they joined his investment club, Creative Capital Consortium LLC and Creative Capital Concepts$, LLC. There were 3,000 to 6,000 victims in the scheme that involved more than $68 million. A bar date for filing claims has been set for August 16, 2016. Claim forms can be downloaded from www.creativecapitalreceivership.com

    The receiver of Vesta Strategies LLC obtained permission from the Ninth Circuit to revive his lawsuit against Continental Casualty Co. The receiver seeks to require the company to cover the losses of Vesta, arguing that recovery under the insurance policy would go the scheme victims and not to the perpetrators. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the policy called for coverage, even though the principal’s bad acts caused the losses.


http://theponzibook.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2016-06-30T15:49:00-07:00&max-results=2

Untitled

However, I am strongly of the belief that only compelling strategy that has any capacity of self sustaining is by incorporating the process into developing a platform that specifically and proactively targets this form of Ponzi investment fraud.

The experiences with Maxim, the insights gained over last few months, and the momentum and knowledge to be yielded from the planned actions enable a framework to be established which will;
  • provide some early structure to any activities undertaken going forward, allow those activities (or variations) to turn into repeatable process.
  • provide the ability to more formally reach out and tap into the isolated and fragmented groups (many of which I’ve sourced much of my information from to date)
  • Some simple tools and resources would allow greater reach and the collection of better quality data. (For instance if each of these blogs or forums embedded a secure dropbox (so their members or visitors can securely leave documents, images, or leave notes anonymously if they wish not just for Maxim but for any scam they are aware of.
  • This would be very powerful way to collect and validate data. Some basic ideas;
    • Creating an introducing broker register with IB number (as put on to of ever form), names and aliases (Chinese names can have half a dozen variations), wee-chat number or other IM ID’s.
    • Metrics for events attended - being able to have multiple replies from various people that attend events allows the extrapolation of a ballpark number of attendees)
    • Collecting data from people that have attended multiple events with multiple promoters allows for the identification of variables that are consistent through the different scams.
    • Provides a better understanding as to how much money is being laundered through the hotels used by the scammers to promote their Ponzi investments ertime they allow the network to grow either formally or informally depending on their credibility fit and capabilities.

  • Over time unify and build credibility

  • have audiences
  • connect to fragmented


importantly the actions that are planned


enable the creation of a framework


allow the knowledge and experiences framework to be established and execution of critical steps that pave the way for the establishment of a network (connecting isolate


that can overtime

connect a network,


can be reused to create a framework which the
and the ongoing The experiences with Maxim

building something that has rcommercial value, and that is bring this all together and using it to underpin a platform that specifically and proactively targets this form of Ponzi investment fraud.

A significant Ponzi fraud industry not only exists but continue to grow and evolve by exploiting the gaps and limitations of regulators reach



Currently there exists no network, association that connects


cross-border groups


is no effective network/platform in the market that targets/address this space


The reality is the initial course of action (at this stage I recommend starting the process by issuing a letter of demand to the ‘Australian ‘representative’, the UK Company and Andrew Lim in Singapore) will have limited impact, and will require a series of follow on actions to result in any material outcome punitive or otherwise.



The cost in time and resources to undertake each of these actions will if undertaken in isolation will be far greater than the resulting benefit. Even the best will in the world will run out of puff well before an outcome that I would consider a worthwhile outcome.
This is one of the primary buffers enjoyed by these scammers, when combined with numerous other advantages they have including fragmented and opaque organisational structures, that are not only able to promote their Ponzi products cross-border but use


operate with little crossability to

with the fragmented nature of how they operate cross border in different jurisdictions on the back of outsourced services that are at best ‘grey’
that that these merchants of scam

of protection enjoyed by scam merchants


provides the barrier of protection that these scam merchants enjoy,



and it appears that when the regulators do finally catch up with them, their ability to deal cross-borders limits their


networks only being impacted marginally w



As a result of the last 12 months, I am pretty certain that there is no-one that has a greater knowledge about how these schemes are facilitated, who facilitates them, the strategies they use.
There are clear parallels with other substantial and well known scams (Virgin Gold - $1B+, EuroFX $1-2B) and emerging scams FX United - $200m+ IBS FX $50m+ and numerous forks throughout the same network). Numerous layers of commonalities including overlapping service providers, promoters and rehashed marketing and branding.

The similarities are either the result of groups evolving similar schemes influenced by utilising the same loopholes, learning the same lessons and using the same service networks, or they are ultimately controlled by the same people.

Usefully (but also potentially problematic) is there is strong evidence that the main guy who is the main guy behind Maxim is also heavily involved in an emerging play which directly or indirectly involves or impacts in some capacity 3-5 ASX listed companies, 1 Perth/Melbourne Broking house.

The risks of getting this wrong for me personally are quite high, I
To be right about something and not being able to take this through to an end game, is corporate suicide.


having an end game with it, is virtual suicide.




With an overlapping network of service providers, numerous commonalities


capacity to provide any return on the significant resources required to sustain the process going forward is

until a material outcome is achieved is to


The further i delve into this, t


I don’t have all the answers, I think I have some. What I do know is the more time I spend on this (and its been intense) I realise its just a fraction of the time required to make an impact.


is the more I research re I become aware of the scale of these scams and tha


The more I chase down and research the scale of this


In essence without a ‘big picture’ plan



which need to be considered up front with some thought put into

Untitled


Whats become increasingly clear to me is that the scale of these schemes are far greater than I previously thought,

as is the time and resources required to have any impact, its

There are potentially significant risks associated with pursuing the information trails and identifying the facilitators of these scams. I have already had a Dos attack on my IP address (which is a hacker trying to collapse my internet access (and/or penetrate my firewall) by flooding my internet router with fake IP packets), which would be a result of the research and data scraping that I’ve been doing.




I couldn’t work out why my internet access was ridiculously slow, fortunately my mate in London who is a cyber security expert spotted it and is putting some additional layers of security in place (if they had succeed in breaking through the firewall they would have

In computing, a denial-of-service (DoS) attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users, such as to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet.


the complexities of addressing them

will be time and labour intensive and will almost certainly under-whelmingly fall short achieving the outcome of recovering your investment. It should result in the triggering of a regulatory process (if it hasn’t already commenced) which over time should result in some form of action







that helped facilitate the fraud (the investment), received a benefit, money laundering (by providing instructions to others), failing




benefited from the


promotion of the Ponzi investment (its fraud (the investment), the money laundering (


making those that facilitated and benefited from the fraud (certainly in the short term and likely to be watered down over time).

(certainly within the short term).

I cannot emphasise the importance of looking forward a few steps, preempting the options for each of those steps, taking a view on the time and resources required resources and time and what outcomes can be expected and how they al

This is where the importance of "6"



what follow on actions will be required, the time and resources required and consider


about what can be achieved at each stage




to k options, the time and resources required for these options and tak

at each step,

and taking


a hard view on the likely outcomes of each scenarios , estimating the time and resources required for each of those scenarios and b


level of resources that will be required to achieve any material outcome.
Further complicating the decision process is that its impossible to determine


and the uncertainty as to formthat outcome will



acknowledging that th

The importance of predicting, accepting and agreeing to further action cannot be underestimated.

the following actions

The importance of predicting this, having the follow on actions already in process as part of a larger plan cannot be un


determining the follow on actions that are to be undertaken in the event that there

discussing

Hence the importance of discussing the options evaluating and determining the follow on actions (points 4&5) , the outcomes of which will be less predictable, certainly some of the actions may be without precedent but have the capacity of providing new insights and information trails that could go along way to uncovering the core of the network that facilitate these investment frauds on international scale.

It is at this stage that

What has become acutely clear

is the magnitude of work that is required to



This is why accepting the likely outcome will be ineffective and agreeing to and preparing to take follow actions (point 4&5) is important. It is here where things are not so predictable and

  • As we will discuss, the follow on actions may be equally ineffective (in recovering the investment).
  • Without the outcome being quite as clear as in particular the outcomes for the UK and other jurisdictions are going to be unpredictable.
  • But it is through these processes that very valuable information and data can be uncovered. this is when part of the puzzle start dropping into place and exposing those behind

For example
  • If its agreed that we should proceed with making a demand for repayment.
  • As I will propose in the meeting is to issue demands directly to;
    • the Australian representative;
    • formally on the UK Company "Maxim Capital Limited"
    • with a copy delivered to Andrew Lim at his Singapore address.
  • To facilitate this, requires some further preparation;
    • Letter of demand (Australia) & Letter of demand (UK) - While I’ve done some preliminary work on this including
      • Australia: review ASIC and Corps law, requirements re: establishing a branch office, rights and obligations of lenders etc.
      • UK: Serving statutory demand, rights of creditors to stop Company being struck off, ability to pursue directors directly, reciprocal rights between UK and Singapore)
    • depending on who delivers the demands if you do it yourself or engage a lawyer to do it, determines what else is required to deliver the demand
      • Engaging a lawyer would require at the very least;
        • Compilation of all relevant documentation, establishing who the parties are, effectively joining the dots for them.
        • At this point it would likely be cost and time prohibitive and ineffective.
      • Lenders making the demand.
        • Need to be cautious to the form the demand is presented (not to impinge on any governing laws regarding demand and repayment of debts),
        • ensure that there is sufficient confidence that the loan exists and the parties are responsible.
        • Preempt how the parties receiving are likely to act and incorporate counter measures in the demand
    • Likely out come;
      • Australia - either do nothing, deny responsibility or pass blame/responsibility back.
      • UK - May be noted, may even get a reply stating that the company has failed to file accounts and will be struck off soon. refer to companies act, seek legal advice, appoint liquidator etc
      • Singapore - likely to throw in the bin, or might be stupid enough to state in writing the the resigned as CEO in late 2015 so its nothing to do with him.
      • Consequences of these outcomes;
        • By this point you have been more proactive than anyone else.
        • Generally its this point that complaints are made to the relevant regulator (by only a few, most don’t do nothing).
        • with no full picture, each regulator will go at their own pace and undertake their review within the restriction of their jurisdiction.
        • There is evidence that ASIC will overtime make some participants accountable, the process will take time and diminish the ability to put in place a plan proactively deal with these type of investment frauds
        • Equally there is little evidence of satisfactory outcomes for investors, (other than to be called up by ASIC for a shakedown of information by them).

  • Follow on actions
    • As we will discuss, the follow on actions may be equally ineffective (in recovering the investment).
    • Without the outcome being quite as clear as in particular the outcomes for the UK and other jurisdictions are going to be unpredictable.
    • But it is through these processes that very valuable information and data can be uncovered. this is when part of the puzzle start dropping into place and exposing those behind

    • that are the jigsaw pieces that will



  • Scenarios/Outcomes
    • The importance of predicting the outcome and having a consensus on how to progress things after


    • (4) & (5) (likely outcome and what options to continue)
    • The above would with the full knowledge that the Australian representative will either do nothing, deny or pass blame back, and the serving of the demand on the UK Company will be done without any easy precedent to follow.




(there is no easy solution here. However the technologies that are evolving for cyber-security and more traditional banking fraud ca

but using a staged app

‘strategy/plan’ for a platform

For example,
  • If its agreed that we should proceed with making a demand for repayment.
  • The likely course of action is to issue a demand direct to the Australian representative and also to Maxim Capital Limited in the UK.
  • To facilitate this, requires some preparation.
    • I’ve done some preliminary work on this (review ASIC and Corps law,
/basis for doing so and consequences/expected outcomes.



(for instance making a demand for repayment to the Australian ‘branch’ at the same time as the ‘UK’






    • as to how much revenue is being made by the big hotel chains from scams and laundered money (If One marina bay event can be unto $1million if its repeated across different scams this is some serious money that can be used to name and shame, and possibly open up the opportunity to identify who is paying, where they are paying and if it can be traced back from there.
  • Ov

Create your own machine learning powered RSS reader in under 30 minutes - Algorithmia


July 30, 2014

Create your own machine learning powered RSS reader in under 30 minutes

As developers one of our biggest "problems" is our voracious appetite for news. From Twitter to HackerNews to the latest funding on TechCrunch, it seems, at times, we cannot avoid the gravitational pull of our favorite news feeds. I know, at least for myself, this is engrained in my routine: wake up, check Twitter, check TechCrunch, check The Verge, etc. I spend at least the first 30 minutes of every day reading feeds based on title and repeat this a couple more times through the day.

Get the code sample for this project here.

I recently discovered SkimFeed, which I love and call my "dashboard into nerd-dom," basically it is a single view of the major tech sites’ titles. However, I wanted more information on each article before I decided to click on one, so I thought: Why not use text analysis algorithms as a more efficient way of consuming my feeds?

Building my very own text analysis API

There are a number of things that can be done as part of a text analysis API but I decided to concentrate on four elements I believed I could build the fastest:

  • Strip documents of unnecessary elements
  • Advanced topic extraction
  • Automatically summarize stories
  • Sentiment analysis

As all of these algorithms are already available in the Algorithmia API, I could piece them together without having to worry about servers, scaling, or even implementing the actual algorithms:

  • ScrapeRSS – Retrieves all the necessary elements from an RSS feed
  • Html2Text – Strips HTML elements and keeps the important text
  • AutoTag – Looks for keywords that represent the topic of any text submitted to it. (Latent Dirichlet Allocation)
  • SentimentAnalysis – Analyzes sentences for positive, neutral or negative connotation. Uses the Stanford NLP library.
  • Summarizer – Breaks content into sentences, and extract key sentences that represent the contents topic. Uses classifier4j to ingest a URL and summarize its main contents

Now, it was just a question of making them work together (and it took ~200 lines of code).

Check it out:

Note: wow our poor servers have been Reddit’d. If you see a unable to find worker error , rest assured we are working to get things back to normal – check back with us in a couple of minutes. 

The process:

The first thing I needed to do was retrieve all the necessary elements from the RSS feeds (ScrapeRSS). Once I had located the main content I could strip all the unnecessary HTML (HTML2Text). Now I had a nice clean body of text to start doing analysis on.

Creating topic tags is an easy way of understanding an article at a very quick glance, so I fed our clean body of text through AutoTag. Now I had the RSS title and some topics, next step was to summarize each link into 3 sentences max to complement the tags. Finally, and mostly for fun, I wanted to see if it’s true that most news is negative, so I added SentimentAnalysis.

 Done.

You can check out some of the code here (or just view-source on our demo page in the browser).

 

image

That’s one way to use the Algorithmia library to build your own text analysis API to analyze almost any data stream in < 30 minutes. .

Cheers, Diego

Matt Kiser

Product marketing manager at Algorithmia, helping developers give their apps super powers.

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Scientists can now make lithium-ion batteries last a lifetime


Scientists can now make lithium-ion batteries last a lifetime

nanowires lithium-ion batteries

University of California doctoral student Mya Le Thai holds a nanowire device that has the potential to enable hundreds of thousands of recharges in a lithium-ion battery.

Credit: Steve Zylius/UCI

The discovery could lead to vastly longer lifespans for batteries in computers, smartphones, appliances, cars and spacecraft

By

Computerworld | Apr 21, 2016 11:16 AM PT

Who says playing around is a waste of time?

Researchers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) said that's exactly what they were doing when they discovered how to increase the tensile strength of nanowires that could be used to make lithium-ion batteries last virtually forever.

Researchers have pursued using nanowires in batteries for years because the filaments, thousands of times thinner than a human hair, are highly conductive and have a large surface area for the storage and transfer of electrons.

The problem they have encountered, however, is that nanowires are also extremely fragile and don't hold up well to repeated discharging and recharging, known as "cycling." For example, in a typical lithium-ion battery, they expand and grow brittle, which leads to cracking.

UCI doctoral candidate Mya Le Thai solved the brittleness conundrum by coating a gold nanowire in a manganese dioxide shell and encasing the assembly in an electrolyte made of a Plexiglas-like gel. The combination, they said, is reliable and resistant to failure.

LIthium-ion batteries
Energy Letters

Gold nanowires were surrounded by an electrodeposited layer of Plexiglas-like gel called propylene carbonate, which has a thickness of between 143 and 300 nanometers. Identical capacitors without the gel show cycle stabilities ranging from 2000 to 8000 cycles. With it, the nanowires stood up to 200,000 recharges.

< hold until June for CW lead art > hidden potential value chess pawn bishop thinkstock

Strategies have changed dramatically in the past few years, with new approaches like consolidating your

Read Now

The findings were published today in the American Chemical Society's Energy Letters. Hard work combined with serendipity paid off in this case, according to senior author Reginald Penner.

"Mya was playing around, and she coated this whole thing with a very thin gel layer and started to cycle it," Penner, chair of UCI's chemistry department, said in a statement. "She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity."

"That was crazy," he added, "because these things typically die in dramatic fashion after 5,000 or 6,000 or 7,000 cycles at most."

The researchers believe the gel plasticizes the metal oxide in the battery and gives it flexibility, preventing cracking.

Thai, the study's leader, cycled the nanowire-enhanced electrode up to 200,000 times over three months without detecting any loss of capacity or power and without fracturing any nanowires.

"All nanowire capacitors can be extended from 2000 to 8000 cycles to more than 100,000 cycles, simply by replacing a liquid electrolyte with a... gel electrolyte," the researchers wrote in their paper.

The result: commercial batteries that could last a lifetime in computers, smartphones, appliances, cars and spacecraft.

"The coated electrode holds its shape much better, making it a more reliable option," Thai said in a statement. "This research proves that a nanowire-based battery electrode can have a long lifetime and that we can make these kinds of batteries a reality."

Lucas MearianGeneral assignment and storage

Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld.

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9 hours ago
Kevin Stott
It looks like the Illuminati also plotted to destroy your spelling and grammar abilities...
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20 hours ago
Neil Underwood
Just when you shell out ten times the price for the last batteries you'll ever need, a self-refilling battery like ORBO will come out at a lower price than you just paid.

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11 days ago
Mike Mat
It will never come to market becouse of the Iluminaty... becouse of the bankers and the perol use many will losee money ......... but still it will pe taked and used secretly by secret society organizations of iluminati for mind control and other things 
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11 days ago
Shawn Robeck
Mike you better go put on your tin foil hat bro. You know the Illuminati is coming for you now that they can read your  thoughts about being aware of them. /s
You really need to cut back on the amount of conspiracy books and sci-fi movies you're intaking. Clearly you're having troubles distinguishing fact from fiction.
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4 days ago
Scott O'Nanski
Shawn, you say that like it's a bad thing...
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7 days ago
Aaron
agree with @Shawn.  You have too many demons on the brain and can not distinguish fact from fiction.
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5 days ago
Jay Smith
Now you've had it, Mike. The Illuminati are everywhere, they know what you have posted  - and you are now in their crosshairs. Please start selecting some remote, uninhabited island - maybe that way they will leave you alone. Maybe.
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5 days ago
Brian Van Den Heuvel
Actually you might be onto something there. This won't see the light of day. It is sooo easy to implement but if you had a battery that lasted a lifetime how would they sell you new iPhones??
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11 days ago
Matthew Roth
still does not reduce the costs of making a battery--in fact it is more expensive.  Also and more importantly it does not increase the energy density or specific energy of the battery per se.

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14 days ago
Mac Intosh
pls buy this google or it will never see the light
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21 days ago
SeekingWorldly Wisdom
If Tesla able to make this battery we will have a 500 miles per charge car that lasted a life time. It's like OMG. Please make this battery happen right now.
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8 days ago
Richard A
You didn't understand the article.  The discovery involves a new chemistry that enables a battery to be RE-CHARGED at least 200K times without wearing out.  However, that has 100% absolutely nothing to do with how much energy the battery can store, or even how quickly it can be charged.  All it might mean to Tesla, for example, is that 10+ year old Tesla batteries will perform like brand new batteries.  Range would be unaffected, however.
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21 days ago
SeekingWorldly Wisdom
Most companies will not make this if they can't, Planned Obsolescence is the game. Remember DVD, it's original spec suppose to make it scratch resistence by using simple stuff as CRC, the scientist show how you can have a heavyly scratched disk still able to play the video without problem, ALL the media company against it and of course what we have now is a DVD or Blueray disk that need to be "handled extremely careful"
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20 days ago
Art Stout
Your reference of designed obsolescence while perhaps true in this case is not a predictor of OEM behavior in this particular market opportunity. Even if there is some replacement battery business, the self interests of the product OEM to get product sales will prove decisive when it comes to issues such as design for life. My expectations are that consumers will want long life batteries in their cars as insurance (piece of mind) and support of the resale value of their cars longer term.

In addition this opens the opportunity to recycle batteries and extend basic material supplies and reduce environment impacts. In this particular case the benefits are so overwhelming strong that if it's producible it will come to market.
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16 days ago
Mensa Graham
If you were around to enjoy 60's, 70's and 80's American made automobiles you would not be so quick with your judgement on what OEMs will do for obsolescence.  Automobiles were engineered to drop dead after three years, coincidentally the length of most car payments.
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12 days ago
Brent Angevine
Yes, until free trade came along and The U.S. was then forced to abandon these practices. The Japanese offered vehicles cheaper that lasted twice as long and the American Auto Industry collapsed. If you don't offer better technologies, Japan, Korea, China etc.. will and you will quickly find yourself out of business. This is actually one of those few positive side effects of Free Trade.
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8 days ago
Richard A
I thought yours was the only well-thought-out and intelligent response here. In case nobody noticed, the article spelled out the exact chemistry involved to a sufficient degree that a talented Chemistry graduate student should be able to understand it and duplicate it. Cat's out the bag, folks - if some corporate interests try to quash this, you can be sure China with take it and run with it, forcing everyone else to follow suit.
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5 days ago
Stas Krasovsky
Or they will make fakes that supposedly last a lifetime but only cycle 1,000 times before imploding.
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21 days ago
MicroNoseTech
Microsoft and all tablet companies would hate it because now their products would turn every 5 or more years instead of 2. They make the products so that the batteries can't be replaced and when they die after a couple years you have to buy a new table. I would be ecstatic if my Surface lasted 5 years.
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11 days ago
FullyOut .
That's not really true, because even though the set itself won't fail to charge, the memory technology and requirements of the next iteration of "web 20.0" will require a set that requires either higher memory or some improvement in security without a doubt, as these things do and will continue to demand increases or improvements in memory and/or technology.
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21 days ago
Chas
Apologies if this has been mentioned already (I'm NOT plowing thru all of these to find out), BUT, battery companies are NOT going to be happy.  You  just took away a source of revenue from them: people buying new rechargables after that 100 charges.  If they do make use of this technology, they will charge an ungodly amount for these batteries to make up for that revenue loss.  I'm guessing that it's going to take a small/new company to lead the way, and only after it starts taking business away from the big boys will they react.
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21 days ago
Garth Woodworth
That's easy, it's done all the time.  Make them like household washing machines, dryers, and other large appliances that used to last 25 or 35 years, but now last 5-8 years.  As long as there are not severe punishments  and penalties for these practices, they could degrade the lifetimes of them for the sake of more profits.
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23 days ago
Larry Vaughn
Has anyone done the math? 200,000 times over three months...
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21 days ago
DarthDana
These are very small test cells that can be cycled rapidly - a few seconds.
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23 days ago
Yaarov Skimaan
"Lasting longer" is misleading.
If people still have to recharge their smartphones everyday, such "lasting loner" finding is useless.
"Lasting longer" is meaningful only "between charges".
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23 days ago
Hung
It's not. batteries usually die after 1000 charges.
what yr talking is capacity. higher mha means more power, means more hour usage.
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22 days ago
Greig Mccready
After you charge your phone 50 times, the battery doesn't instantly drain like currently t batteries.
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24 days ago
Max Havoc
ok...so now they start making L-ions that last for years in everything....I wonder what the price of  L-ions are going to be now? If some big name company buys the patent that battery will never see the light of day or dark of night.
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22 days ago
Ted Hu
It means low cost tesla and other e cars will be possible over long run as they will outlast ice.  Ntm Li-io is recyclable.  
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24 days ago
Eric
"Who says playing around is a waste of time"...for girls.

For boys, there is Ritalin.

After all, in today's curricula, one 'Madam' Curie is worth about 50 Rutherfords.
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24 days ago
Max Havoc
Oh yea, Rutherford. I use to hang out with that dude, man. He's like on the $100,000 bill or something now. Yea, that Madame Curie ...that's the chick with the black list of all her clients for her prostitution racket, right? Yea I know here, too. All of us in Jersey know her.
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24 days ago
Cameron
This is the first article that has generated excitement for me in quite some time.
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24 days ago
Max Havoc
What yous don't read Hustler?  LMFAO...that aside, I don't read Hustler either so I agree with you ;)
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24 days ago
Cg Arnell
This is fascinating. I worked in the world of sub-micron semiconductors for many years. For each and every thousand, maybe ten thousand, ideas and discoveries made, it took years, sometimes tens of years to create the associated Fabrication Processes to bring it to market.

This is what I read about nanowires: "we can build nanowires using either approach [top down or bottom up], no one has found a way to make mass production feasible. Right now, scientists and engineers would have to spend a lot of time to make a fraction of the number of nanowires they would need for a microprocessor chip. An even greater challenge is finding a way to arrange the nanowires properly once they are built. The small scales make it very difficult to build transistors automatically -- right now, engineers usually manipulate wires into place with tools while observing everything through a powerful microscope."

Great article but we just might not ever see such a 1/4inch thick Li-*** battery in our cell phones in our lifetime.

When nanowires can be grown from a flat surface like a forest with the tree spacing controlled by implanted 'seed' we may be able to create a 'forest of nanowires' in a production environment. (just sayin).
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24 days ago
Richard Vasquez
They always say that it take "5 to 10 years" to bring a new technology to market. By then we'll forget and some battery company will buy the patents and bury the technology. Why would they kill their "cash cow"?
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24 days ago
Otten1714
I hear you on that one. This will be swept under the rug and no one will know. 
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24 days ago
Wayne Resnick
Tesla is currently building its Gigafactory to produce batteries because once they get up to anticipated levels of sales, they will need more lithium batteries than are currently produced worldwide. They don't make any money from replacement batteries because people don't need them, at least not yet. But the potential need for a replacement battery could scare people away. If they used this sort of technology, they might not be able to sell many replacement batteries, but they'd sell many more cars. That will be their cash cow. 
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24 days ago
Max Havoc
Wayne! Change your name and go into hiding now. They may already have a contract out on you, dude!
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24 days ago
Odd Bakken
There will not be any overproduction any time soon.To poeer all the worlds cars you would need 200 Gigafactories...
 Long lasting batteries would make most sense in cars and grid storage. Phones are discarded evert 2-3 years anyway.
How much gold would you need ...?

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