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Old 12-01-2020, 07:08 PM   #61
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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."

I have been the treasurer for three non-profits and an auditor of two others. I always recommended the simplest of financial controls such as requiring two signatures on a check and two levels of expense approval in addition to regular (at least annual) audits. My recommendations were usually ignored. It isn't a matter of trust. It's a matter of minimizing the risk of something bad happening. Honest people handling money in those organizations welcomed audits. If they don't, something is probably wrong.
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:13 PM   #62
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There is a sleaze bag that targets some in my previous company that retired with lump sum payments. The ones who were gullible were taken to the cleaners.
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Are they still in jail?
Old 12-01-2020, 10:13 PM   #63
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Are they still in jail?

Bop.gov has an inmate locator tab for looking up any federal inmate. Bernie, though I think heís listed as Bernard Madoff, Michael Vick, Martha Stewart, Louis Pearlman, theyíre all listed, either as released, deceased, or still in custody with an estimated release date.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:26 AM   #64
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A 'BBB" designation is not much better than an AARP or CARP endorsement.
Yeah, you can ignore these endorsements.

However, you should check BBB for negative ratings. It takes a lot of bad service to get anything below A or A+, so go somewhere else if you see A- or below. That said, A+ or accreditation does not guarantee a good experience.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:37 AM   #65
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There are many more "financial advisors" living under the cover of friendship, religion, and family. I know of one who is a preacher at a church, claims to be a fiduciary, but sells nothing but Variable annuities and churns accounts with over 35 mutual funds/etfs in a 100,000 dollar account. I have a close friend I am trying to educate on how this person is taking advantage of their friendship. These people seldom hit the news, but there are likely millions being advised by those with no other interest than their own pockets.
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Old 12-08-2020, 02:59 PM   #66
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Here we had a well-known local businessman who got in trouble for issuing promissory notes...which requires state licensing he didn't have...and of course he never did pay them off.
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Old 12-08-2020, 03:50 PM   #67
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There are many more "financial advisors" living under the cover of friendship, religion, and family. I know of one who is a preacher at a church, claims to be a fiduciary, but sells nothing but Variable annuities and churns accounts with over 35 mutual funds/etfs in a 100,000 dollar account. I have a close friend I am trying to educate on how this person is taking advantage of their friendship. These people seldom hit the news, but there are likely millions being advised by those with no other interest than their own pockets.
A Chase Bank, had an "investment guy" in the bank, this person sold my then 80+ old relative on an investment account.
Years later, when I saw the account of around $100,000 it comprised of nearly 35 different funds/etfs/stocks , and they charged $2,000 per year on top of the mutual fund fees...

He let me move him to Vanguard to save the $2,000 /yr cost.
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Old 12-11-2020, 07:43 AM   #68
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I'd submit theres more than one small-town-mad-off in every small town none of us ever hear of, hearing of so many nation wide.

My understanding of most data points is there are 2 additional data points for every confirmed one you hear about.
Thats quite a few scammers, take care and overlook no one. Not even ones spouse in some circumstance.
The spouse on spouse cases of financial mis-managment are the worst. imo.
Viking Financial, Steven Paladino, West Roxbury, Ma. promises 12%!
Its been made into a traditional Ameican Greed's episode.
I recall knowing folks involved. There are numerous others and my understanding has always suggested anything other than largely capitalized & established players like Fido, Vanguard, or Shawb, & T.Rowe price, etc. are well capitalized options, others not so much.

I'd even suggest avoiding smaller capitalized operations akin to
Janus, Bridgeway, etc. Consider the widely publicized Michael Burry's privately capitalized "Scion value" investment operation. It was a highly speculative operation that worked out well.
An equal, or larger amount do not. I also understand you can bet* on anything one wants in most markets, some with indexed sector speculation w/less volatility.

Unfortunately the elderly are often prime targets.


Good Luck & Best wishes....
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Old 12-11-2020, 10:05 AM   #69
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DW's small home town had one who was a well loved hockey coach cum financial advisor. He ripped off everyone he could, including family.

He went to prison for a few years, then came out early on parole...with restrictions. Two months or so on parole and he was up to his old tricks again. Back in jail for violating his parole, plus he faces some additional charges for his alleged actions while on parole. Go figure.

Where we live two former Pentecostal pastors teamed up to sell a land based investment scheme. Bilked many people with millions still missing. Amazing, despite having no investment or real estate expertise many people shoved money their way because they felt that these were 'honest' folk. Amazing really. They could have done it the easy way and become television evangelists touting for donations.
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Old 12-11-2020, 12:24 PM   #70
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Speaking of television evangelists, I have seen a couple of well-known evangelists touting their spiel on TV recently. No stadium gatherings, no money.
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Old 12-11-2020, 12:40 PM   #71
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As it turns out, one of of former Pentecostal pastor crooks had been 'let go' from his church because of 'financial issues concerning expenses'.

Had the church board acted in a proper manner, called in the authorities, it would have damaged his reputation or worse, left him with a theft conviction.

This might of have been enough to warn people off. Instead...they brushed it under the carpet as usual in these matters. The inevitable result was that more people were negatively impacted. Some lost their entire retirement or life savings. Some went into debt to invest in this 'sure thing' that turned out to be not so sure.
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Old 12-11-2020, 12:45 PM   #72
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As it turns out, one of of former Pentecostal pastor crooks had been 'let go' from his church because of 'financial issues concerning expenses'.

Had the church board acted in a proper manner, called in the authorities, it would have damaged his reputation or worse, left him with a theft conviction.

This might of have been enough to warn people off. Instead...they brushed it under the carpet as usual in these matters. The inevitable result was that more people were negatively impacted.
Kinda like the priests in Boston/Milwaukee, only their sin was lust instead of avarice. All are criminals, but the church finds the forbearance to forgive. /s
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Old 12-11-2020, 01:12 PM   #73
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They love to forgive but the desire to protect their collective reputations and that of their organization far exceeds their desire for criminal justice and future prevention. To the point where they are willing to place the public at risk.

In my experience law firms are the same when it comes to trust fund thefts. Hush hush, cover it up, let the employee go, move on, protect the firms reputation at all costs.
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:49 PM   #74
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Thanks for an interesting discussion

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