Top Ten Ways to Avoid Losing Money in a Financial Scam – Tip #3

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crop businessman signing contract in office

Last time we discussed the importance of doing your homework when making investment decisions. This week, I am addressing another important aspect of protecting yourself from fraud: hiring a legal expert to help you evaluate the potential opportunity. Tip #3 — Hire an Attorney Before You Hand Over the Money While the idea of hiring… Read more »

Top Ten Ways to Avoid Losing Money in a Financial Scam – Tip #2

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Last time we discussed the importance of slowing down and taking your time when making investment decisions. This week, I am addressing another important aspect of protecting yourself from fraud: doing your homework before handing over your hard-earned money. Tip #2 — Do Your Homework Many scammers rely on the fact that potential victims will… Read more »

Top Ten Ways to Avoid Losing Money in a Financial Scam – Tip #1

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Investment fraud is a big issue here in Utah, largely due to our close-knit social and religious communities, which can be prime targets for “affinity fraud.”  “Affinity fraud” is a scam that is perpetrated by someone you trust. Scammers use relationships to build trust and legitimacy for their “pitch.” Those relationships can be with family… Read more »

Utah’s Little-Used Whistleblower Law Needs an Update

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Utah is one of only two states in the United States that has a whistleblower act (Indiana is the other). Utah’s statute was written and passed by a young ambitious politician named Ben McAdams in 2011. Ben asked me to assist with the drafting and to provide testimony in support, which I gladly did. We… Read more »

How to Blow the Whistle on Bank Fraud

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The Federal Government offers potentially significant rewards to whistleblowers who provide information to the government that helps protect financial institutions by “deterring would-be criminals from including financial institutions in their schemes.” United States v. Serpico, 320 F.3d 691, 694-95 (7th Cir. 2003). The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) and the Financial Institutions… Read more »

Why Is Utah Home To So Many Ponzi Schemes?

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EDITORS NOTE: this is a repost of a story that aired on our local NPR affiliate, KUER on December 30, 2019. Doug Hronek is a client of mine who agreed to speak publicly about this experience. We have filed lawsuit against Live Abundant and its agents on behalf of Doug and a number of other… Read more »

Deep Dive: Ponzi Schemes, Then and Now

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest post by Bryce Welker, who is an active speaker, blogger, and tutor on accounting and finance. As the founder of Crush The CPA Exam, he has helped thousands of candidates pass the CPA exam on their first attempt. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr…. Read more »

In the Decade Since Madoff, Ponzi Schemers Try New Tactics

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an excellent article that appeared in the New York Times today. I am posting it here because it contains some information about some of the new tactics that perpetrators of these schemes are using to avoid detection. They are offering products not typically associated with a Ponzi, such as financial services,… Read more »