Category Archives: Ponzi Schemes

SEC Files Action vs. FL and TN Oil and Gas Deal Scammers

August 2017-Ft. Lauderdale, FL/ Gallatin, TN

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two men from Tennessee and a man from Florida with allegedly defrauding investors by false promises of high returns from an oil drilling investment.

The SEC Complaint, filed in Savannah, GA, alleges that David R. Greenlee and David A. Stewart, Jr. orchestrated a $15 million scheme through a network of salesmen who raised money from investors who were promised profits of 15-55% per year for decades on wells that would use enhanced recovery techniques to boost production.

Neither Greenlee nor Stewart was registered to sell investments and they routinely used fake names , like “Dave Johnson”, when speaking with investors in order to hide their past criminal records. According to the SEC, only a small fraction of the money raised was actually used as intended.

The SEC alleges that Richard “Ric” Underwood helped draft brochures and oversaw a boiler room sales team of telemarketers in Florida who solicited victims nationwide.

The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Georgia has instituted criminal charges in a parallel action.

Companies listed by the SEC as being used in the scam include:

  • Tennstar Energy
  • Black Gold Resources (BRG)
  • Southern Energy Group

Other individuals involved, but not named defendants, per the SEC complaint are Robert Dorrance, 60, of Gallatin, TN, and Jared G. Forrester, 33, of Glasgow, KY.

If you invested in this scheme at the suggestion of a licensed stock broker , you may be able to recover damages from the broker’s employer. Call for details.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Stephen Hatch-Texas Real Estate Investor Sentenced to Five Years on Ponzi Scheme Targeting Christians

The Arizona Republic reports that Texan Stephen J. Hatch, 68, pleaded guilty to felony fraud and was sentenced to five years for operating a $70 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Christians who were promised double digit returns on real estate investments.

According to the press release, Hatch solicited investments in partnerships named after biblical verses and sent emails containing biblical quotes to his investor victims. Hatch told investors he was already a wealthy man and that he didn’t need the money but rather was trying to help them make money in the name of God.

Rather than use the victim’s money to invest in real estate as represented, Hatch used it for extravagant salaries for his children and friends, an investment in a restaurant, luxury items for himself, including a California ranch.

AFFINITY FRAUD

This type of fraud is known as ‘affinity fraud’Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups. See this for more information about affinity fraud. 

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Allan George Cooper Guilty of Investment Fraud-Houston, Texas

May 20-17-Houston, Texas

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas advises that Allan George Cooper, 76, of Montgomery, TX, was convicted on two counts related to an investment fraud scheme using his companies Effective Energy Alternatives dba A.G. Cooper Associates and Effective Funding Network.

Cooper, who preyed upon his church group and others, presented himself as an investment advisor and raised about $5 million from unsuspecting victims who thought they were investing in short term loans to companies.

Cooper touted 12% returns. In reality most of the funds were used to pay back earlier investors, a classic Ponzi Scheme, and to fund his own lifestyle.

Cooper faces up to 20 years on each count plus a maximum fine of $250,000.

Link to government press release. 

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

How to Recover Losses on United Development Funding IV (UDF IV)

March 2017

Investors who have suffered losses on United Development IV (UDF IV)  may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration,  a dispute resolution process that is much more expedient than typical court litigation.

UDF IV , a real estate investment trust (REIT) was marketed to investors as an entity that would generate income by investing in low risk loans and the profits from the sale of real estate.

FBI RAIDS UDF OFFICES-In February 2016, the FBI raided the home office of UDF in Grapevine, Texas, seizing documents and records. Subsequently UDF IV disclosed receipt of a grand jury subpoena by the company and its executives. In addition the company disclosed receipt of a Wells Notice from the SEC.  Share trading was suspended and share prices fell to $3.20.

TENDER OFFER @ $1.25 SHARE-SCM Special Fund and Lemon Creek Advisers, affiliates of Mackenzie Capital Management and Sutter Capital Management have recently offered to buy up to 1.6 million shares of UDF IV for $1.25 a share. This offer, which constitutes just over 5% of the outstanding shares expires May 5th, 2017.

UDF IV has not filed any quarterly financial documents since November 2015 and has advised the SEC that it will not meet its deadline for the 2016 year end report. Kyle Bass, a hedge fund manager and founder of Hayman Capital Management has publicy accused UDF of operating a ‘Ponzi like real estate scheme’.

Investors who suffered losses as a result of investing in UDF IV may be able to recover damages. Contact us for a no cost consultation to discuss your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Patrick O. Howard, Optimal Economics Capital Prnrs, Howard Capital Named in Regulatory Action-Dallas, TX

February 2017-Dallas, Texas

Patrick O. Howard and two companies he controls, Optimal Economics Capital Partners and Howard Capital Holdings were named in a complaint filed by The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 14, 2017.

The complaint alleges that since February 2015, Howard and his companies have raised about $13 million from 119 investors through the fraudulent offer and sale of interests in three private funds which promised returns ranging from 12%-20% annually. Investors were also promised minimal risk.

According to the SEC only about $7.5 million was actually used for investment purposes and the balance was used on Howard’s personal expenses. The SEC alleges that Optimal Economics made Ponzi payments using to new investor funds to pay earlier investors.

Victims who made investments as a result of a recommendation from a registered financial advisor may be able to recover damages through FINRA arbitration. Call to discuss your options.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

Michael Anthony Collins Sentenced to 15 Years for Securities Fraud-Alice, TX

August 2016- Alice, Texas

 

Michael Anthony Collins pleaded guilty to stock fraud, theft and money laundering and was sentenced to 15 years on each count in Jim Wells County State District Court, according to a release from the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB). The sentences will run concurrently. Follow this link to the indictment. 

In addition Collins was ordered to pay $3 million in restitution. Through his company Collins Financial Group, Collins sold ‘investment plans’ from 2012-2015. Investors were led to believe their money would be used to trade stocks, when in fact he was operating a Ponzi scheme, using money from later investors to pay ‘returns’ to early investors to give the impression of a going concern.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870

William Risinger of Round Rock Texas Sentenced to 160 Months on Ponzi Scheme

May 2016-Austin, Texas

The US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas reports that William Risinger of Round Rock, Texas, was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison in connection with a $4.5 million Ponzi Scheme through his company RHM Exploration, LLC.

US District Judge Sam Sparks ordered a judgment of $3.7 million against Risinger and three years supervised release following the prison term.

In April 2016 Risinger was arrested for violating terms of his bond  when he traveled to Las Vegas and lost half a million gambling.

Rex Securities Law , with offices in Boca Raton, FL,  and  Austin, TX,   provides representation to  investors  nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney.

Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.

Nationwide Representation

Rex Securities Law

TollFree: 877-224-3199

Florida-561 391 1900 

Texas-512-329-2870