New FBI Video on Ponzi Schemes

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The Utah office of the FBI just released a video about Ponzi schemes, affinity fraud, and how to spot trouble. The video, which was produced by the FBI Salt Lake City Division, features interviews with FBI Special Agent in Charge James S. McTighe, Security and Exchange Commission Regional Director Ken Israel, Utah Division of Securities… Read more »

GREAT NEW AD CAMPAIGN

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check for con men before you invest

The Utah Division of Securities has put together a great new campaign to combat affinity fraud that I just saw on a billboard near my home: The monies that the Division collects from fines are supposed to fund investor education, and past efforts to do this have been mediocre at best. I think this is… Read more »

KNOW YOUR FRENEMIES

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As part of the buildup for the Utah Fraud College event a great article entitled Know Your Frenemy appeared in Utah CEO Magazine yesterday. This is somewhat unique because unlike most of the educational efforts that target individuals, this article focuses on the harm that can come to businesses from fraud: “Companies strive to build… Read more »

Affinity fraud increasing among the elderly

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By Alexis Young Often at home alone, and happy to talk to anyone willing to stay on the phone with him, Dale Alexander was not about to pass up the opportunity to make an effortless $8,000. As it turns out, he was the victim of a wretched scheme. Alexander’s case illustrates something prosecutors call “affinity… Read more »

The Perils of Investing with Friends and Family members

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Every week I get calls from Utah residents who have lost money by investing money with friends, family or neighbors they trusted — but who were not licensed to sell securities. Many of these people have given someone a short-term, high-interest loan with a promissory note that has not been repaid. Others have invested money… Read more »

FREE “FRAUD UNIVERSITY” CONFERENCE IN JUNE

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I just spoke to my friend Brent Baker who is a former SEC attorney now practicing at Parsons Behle & Latimer. He is putting together a conference in Utah County on June 30, 2010. Attendance is free. The purpose of this event is similar to this blog – to educate people in Utah about scams… Read more »

SILVERLEAF FRAUD FILING

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Shane Baldwin

Dwight Shane Baldwin, who ran several “venture capital” funds called the Silverleaf Companies has been charged by the Utah Division of Securities with securities fraud and theft, prosecutors said Monday. Previously the Division had charged him with securities fraud. The Division’s civil complaint is available here. According to the allegations in the complaint, In January… Read more »