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Old 11-26-2020, 06:27 PM   #21
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Bernie’s victims had a remarkable recovery of 76%! Scammers usually squander the money on bad investments and personal expenses but I guess Bernie just hung on to most of it.
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:38 PM   #22
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Bernie’s victims had a remarkable recovery of 76%! Scammers usually squander the money on bad investments and personal expenses but I guess Bernie just hung on to most of it.
If I remember correctly (possibly not) the 24% that wasn't recovered amounted to over 4 billion.... That is a chunk of change to spend.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:34 PM   #23
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Our local Madoff wannabe actually earned a spot on American Greed. Economan worked at the local Baptist college, where he preyed on victims claiming he could produce above market returns. Our regional Chamber of Commerce propped this clown up by allowing him to give the area wide economic report each year. Even his employer was swindled out of some of their endowment.

Where the real Madoff stole $65 Billion, our local Ponzi-man stole $65 Million.

https://www.cnbc.com/id/100000078
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:38 PM   #24
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He bilked about 90 people in a town of about 12,000 out of close to $8 million over 5 years but one of the investors lawyers thinks it was more like $15 million He was found guilty and sentenced to 188 months in federal prison. Look like he did 10 years in prison and the rest supervised release.
Oops, I was thinking in my reply about the local Wisconsin conman. Was the guy in your town sentenced in federal court? 188 months is a healthy stretch.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:47 PM   #25
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Oops, I was thinking in my reply about the local Wisconsin conman. Was the guy in your town sentenced in federal court? 188 months is a healthy stretch.
Yes, federal court.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:08 PM   #26
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We had a guy like that at our church. Big Talk, good friends in all the HIGH places, big house, two fancy cars, volunteered for all sorts of church activities, etc. etc. etc. He hooked a number of people on a great business opportunity refinishing bathrooms in only a day or two using new techniques, IIRC. Three years later he disappeared, with a number of church members wondering where their money had gone to.
Affinity fraud is common. People let down their guard with someone who is perceived to be "one of us". There was a guy around here who stole $2 million from the local Greek Orthodox Church's endowment fund about 7 years ago. He got 25 years in federal prison for it. As the guy in charge of my own church's endowment fund for over 14 years, I followed the case with interest. The victimized church had poor financial controls in place. When one of my fellow congregants talked to me about the case, he said "we trust you." I said, "I'm honored, but you shouldn't trust any one person, which is why we have structural safeguards in place to prevent me from doing the same thing."
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:33 PM   #27
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There have been lots of them where we live. In some cases hundreds of millions. Usually people in about to retire or retirees. Most often some sort of affinity fraud.....a church group, service club, etc where the members trust other.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:42 PM   #28
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Affinity fraud is common. People let down their guard with someone who is perceived to be "one of us". There was a guy around here who stole $2 million from the local Greek Orthodox Church's endowment fund about 7 years ago. He got 25 years in federal prison for it. As the guy in charge of my own church's endowment fund for over 14 years, I followed the case with interest. The victimized church had poor financial controls in place. When one of my fellow congregants talked to me about the case, he said "we trust you." I said, "I'm honored, but you shouldn't trust any one person, which is why we have structural safeguards in place to prevent me from doing the same thing."
Somewhat similar.
Long ago, my favorite family owned outdoor store went bankrupt. Turned out their accountant/book-keeper for 10 yrs had been stealing money, it was over $1 Million.
They only found out as she got sick and had to go to hospital, so they hired a temp. The temp saw the strange entries, and told the owners.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:17 AM   #29
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Somewhat similar.
Long ago, my favorite family owned outdoor store went bankrupt. Turned out their accountant/book-keeper for 10 yrs had been stealing money, it was over $1 Million.
They only found out as she got sick and had to go to hospital, so they hired a temp. The temp saw the strange entries, and told the owners.
Above emphasis added.

One of the things I learned from my data security days was to watch for people for rarely took well earned time-off. Often their schemes require them to tamper with the books on a weekly basis. One week minimum was the recommended vacation time. Two weeks was even better. They should also miss at least one end-of-month cycle a year. That was a hard one, since often Helen in Accounting was the only person who knew how to do the end-of-month. <--- another warning sign.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:27 AM   #30
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We were required to take 2 consecutive weeks off in the Wall St. firms I worked at.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:32 AM   #31
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Helen in Accounting was the only person who knew how to do the end-of-month. <--- another warning sign.
Have probably mentioned this in the past because it's a show that's stuck with me:

1969, with my first wife in London, raining, watched TV.

- half hour show...opening scene company CEO's house, dinner party for execs.

- men in tuxes, wives dressed accordingly....except one, who looked like a stripper.

- 'stripper' and husband make excuses and leave early.

- CEO says he'd love to promote departee to VP status but his wife would be an embarrasment.

- Scene switch: 'Stripper' removes wig and flashy attire, and husband says "That was close, I can't afford to be moved from this job until I've embezzled enough money so that we can make a run for it".
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:12 AM   #32
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- Scene switch: 'Stripper' removes wig and flashy attire, and husband says "That was close, I can't afford to be moved from this job until I've embezzled enough money so that we can make a run for it".
That's great!

You know, this whole thing about taking a break away from work so the company knows if they can deal without you is important.

You'd think more companies would do this! It isn't just to smoke out embezzlers. It is also a way to prove backup plans. Oh, and for today's vicious corporate culture, it also proves you can lay off anyone.

My story: I was a high school computer student. I was the star student that year. The teacher fell suddenly ill, and me and the science teacher were tasked with figuring out how to run personnel jobs on the computer! A friggin' student! Of course, I was under heavy supervision and the teacher would not let me watch the print-outs. I mean, this was stuff like payroll. It was a nightmare and they came up with a completely different plan after the computer teacher recovered.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:41 AM   #33
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Affinity fraud is common. ...
Particularly among the religious? is the question this article explores: https://tinyurl.com/yy76vwud
As my favorite atheist says, "Faith is not a reliable pathway to truth".
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:44 AM   #34
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I have a friend that lost about 300k to one of those scammers about ten years ago. He bragged about the money he was making and talked to me about joining. All on paper. My alarm bells were going off and I kept telling him to take his money and run. But greed is what hooks people like my friend and suspicion goes out the door. After the court case, he only got about 15k after what was left and distributed to the "investors".
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:24 AM   #35
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I have a friend that was con by a relative. The conman was to be investing his money but as of the last few years now, he has realized he was scammed. My friend has been fighting this to prove what has happened, but the processes has been long and a hard fight.
It was close to 1M he gave to him to invest. My friend wasn't the smartest person thou and he made mistakes alone the way also.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:56 AM   #36
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Above emphasis added.

One of the things I learned from my data security days was to watch for people for rarely took well earned time-off. Often their schemes require them to tamper with the books on a weekly basis. One week minimum was the recommended vacation time. Two weeks was even better. They should also miss at least one end-of-month cycle a year.
+1
For critical systems, we required the backup person to "run the job" periodically for 2 or more weeks at a time, depending on the specific job. There was still the risk for "collusion" so we would rotate the backup person on occasion too. Just a good security practice.
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:48 AM   #37
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We had a local office of Fair Finance. I remember seeing ads in the very local paper for their high interest CDs. Always higher than the banks and definitely not FDIC.

https://www.sec.gov/news/press/2011/2011-67.htm
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:14 AM   #38
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We had a local office of Fair Finance. I remember seeing ads in the very local paper for their high interest CDs. Always higher than the banks and definitely not FDIC.

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Old 11-28-2020, 09:55 AM   #39
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Particularly among the religious? is the question this article explores: https://tinyurl.com/yy76vwud
As my favorite atheist says, "Faith is not a reliable pathway to truth".
Fraudsters try to blend in with their prey. It can be through church or synagogue or mosque. It can be through veterans groups. Or college alumni societies. Or political support groups.

They are con artists who USE these groups to gain trust. It says nothing one way or the other about the validity of the causes that they are masquerading under.
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:59 AM   #40
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Did Bernie Madoff steal or lie about returns and that he was investing with amazing returns? Stealing is different than misleading people/banks/charities/investment companies into bad investments. I looked at the list of investors on Wikipedia and they look like financially savvy investors. Stealing is taking something without permission. All these entities gave money to Madoff with permission. The ponzi part is illegal but aren't some pyramid scheme companies like ponzi schemes?

In our earlier days of investing a Merrill Lynch advisor suggested buying Enron bonds. Before we invested she told us she would check into some things first. Then, she came back and advised against the investment. This was before Enron's public downfall. I always wondered if she had inside information about the company. We were small time investors. So new and naive. Maybe she felt sorry for us. This was before we learned about Vanguard. I think ponzi schemes are everywhere and it's buyer beware.

Everyone should follow "due diligence" practices. Talk about complicated! If the SEC made huge errors in figuring out Madoff's scam, how could an investor?

"While it's easy to blame the SEC, you can only imagine the arduous task of reviewing and tracking such a large volume of companies with such limited resources. (For more, see our slideshow on Biggest Stock Scams.)"

The article posted below is hair raising and makes me more comfortable with our investments in Vanguard.

https://www.investopedia.com/article...-diligence.asp
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