FIVE QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU INVEST

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Whether you’re a first-time investor or have been investing for many years, there are some basic questions you should always ask before you commit your hard-earned money to an investment. Question 1: Is The Seller Licensed? Research shows that con-artists are experts at the art of persuasion, often using a variety of influence tactics tailored… Read more »

Top Ten Ways To Avoid Losing Money In A Financial Scam*

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Every week Utah residents lose money by investing with friends, family or neighbors – people they knew and trusted. Investment fraud is a big problem here in Utah, largely because our close-knit communities are a prime target for “affinity fraud.” Our state has a long history of financial scams and Ponzi schemes, many of which have… Read more »

The Falls Event Centers; A Financial Scam Targeting Medical Professionals

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Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from a guest post that I wrote for The White Coat Investor, a fantastic website that provides financial tips and education to medical professionals.   I have represented a number of doctors and dentists over the years in disputes with their stockbrokers and in Ponzi schemes and investment fraud cases. My… Read more »

Rust Rare Coin: An Analysis of Utah’s Latest Massive Ponzi Scheme

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Imagine waking up one day and discovering that all of your retirement savings were gone; all the money you had been working to save had evaporated in a poof. That’s what happened to over 200 people on November 15th.  They had invested in a “Silver Pool” investment promoted by Gaylen Rust who claimed he had… Read more »

Another Scam Comes to Light: Future Income Payments or FIP

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Editor’s Note: I have been contacted by a number of individuals who invested in Future Income Payments or FIP through Utah-based Live Abundant, which is referenced in the article below.  This article appeared in the Wall Street Journal today and has a pretty good summary of the FIP situation.  Spoiler alert: it’s not good. Private… Read more »

The Problem With Private Placements

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One of the biggest problems I am seeing these days is private placements (also called alternatives or non-registered investments) that are sold to accredited investors through a private placement memorandum or PPM.  Because these investments are not registered with the SEC the information that you can get about them is far more limited, and can… Read more »

The Woodbridge Group of Companies – Another Ponzi Targeting Utahns

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The Woodbridge Group of Companies was run by a flashy promoter in Los Angeles named Robert Shapiro.  Woodbridge marketed promissory notes (which were in reality unregistered securities) to an estimated 7,000 retail investors throughout the United States, including Utah.  Investors were told their funds would provide a safe, secured return from short-term real-estate loans. In… Read more »

Did you send me a letter? Call me!

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I know this is an unusual post but someone recently sent me a copy of an unsigned whistleblower letter to the SEC.  This post is for that person: To the person who sent me an unsigned letter involving a company with the initials TEG or EA (I don’t want to identify the company here) please… Read more »

FBI Article on Affinity Fraud in Utah

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This is a re-post of a great article on the unique problem we have with affinity fraud here in Utah. This article appeared on the FBI’s website yesterday. Affinity Fraud White-Collar Criminals Use Bonds of Trust to Prey on Investors Financial fraudsters are known to be an unscrupulous lot, but it is particularly loathsome when these… Read more »

SEC Creating Searchable Database of Bad Brokers

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This is a repost of an article that appeared in ThinkAdvisor today.  Apparently the SEC agrees with one of the main goals of this website; people are increasingly googling the names of people they want to do business with, so information about people who have a documented history of unethical or fraudulent conduct needs to… Read more »