Fraud Alerts Int'l.

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May
11

Exential Group {Attention Victims}

Exential

 

Contact us IMMEDIATELY If you were a victim of:

EXENTIAL GROUP,

EXENTIAL MIDEAST COMMERCIAL BROKERS LLC, 

TADAWUL ME,

EXENTIAL MIDEAST INVESTMENT LLC,

FCI MARKETS Inc, 

FC PRIME MARKETS

This case is a HIGHLY sophisticated scheme, a typical lawsuit will NOT return you lost money.

A North American based recovery effort is being facilitated by an international consortium of expert ‘Financial Crimes’ asset recovery professionals.  If you would like to be included please contact this forum ASAP.

BREAKING NEWS:

A Dubai court has ordered Exential chief Sydney Lemos and his companies to pay back a group of investors who lost their hard-earned money in a Dh1.1 billion Ponzi scheme disguised as a foreign currency trading program.

Sydney Lemos

Lemos, 36, who is in police custody since mid-January and faces a string of civil and criminal charges.

Exential Group promised up to 120 per cent annual returns on investments, but when payments dried up, many investors complained following which the firm’s Dubai Media City office was shut down by the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) in July 2016.

A case has also been filed against his wife Valany Cardozo Lemos,

Valany Lemos

who was captured on CCTV entering Exential’s sealed office illegally last December 26 and carting away vital documents with the help of other staff.

On January 3, 2017, Valany flew to India and is now believed to be holed up in her hometown Goa. However, the chief accountant of Exential wasn’t that lucky. He was arrested at Dubai airport minutes before boarding a flight to India and is now in jail.

Indian chartered accountant and some influential businessmen who are said to have played key roles in the brazen forex scam.

[email protected] or call (US) 240-232-2001

Dubai Exential Office

Exential Group Office

Nov
10

KEN JOHSON & JEFF BERWICK- “Gult’s Gulch”-Fraud

In July of 2014, we received our first consumer complaint involving a real estate scheme called “Gult’s Gulch” located Southwest of the city of Santiago in the nation of Chile.

Gult’s Gulch derives its name from a “Atlas Shrugged” a book released in 1957 by the ‘late’ author Ayn Rand, which has become a ‘cult’ classic amongst Libertarian groups.

The scheme pitched as a anarchist/libertarian utopia and refuge from the threat “economic, social, and political collapse of the United States and coming financial meltdown caused by the Federal Reserve, followed by a Homeland Security police state”.

Ken Johnson

“Ken” Johnson

The scheme was headed up by Mr. KEN JOHNSON who hails from the Minnesota Twin City’s area and most recently California.KEN JOHNSON has accused one of his ex-employees, account manager-KEN CARPENTER of mismanagement as the reason he lost all of the money victims invested.

JeffGGC

Jeff Berwick -“Dollar Vigilante”

The schemes Founding partner and Top Promoter-JEFF BERWICK who hails from Edmonton Canada claims that he was duped by Ken Johnson just like everyone else.

BERWICK who runs a “Blog” and “Podcast” monikered as http://dollarvigilante.com/,  and others closely associated to the Galt’s Gulch debacle claim that all of the responsibility lies with KEN JOHNSON who they allege made off with the investors money.

 

The entire matter appears to have been just another CONSPIRACY to entice, lure and steal Millions of dollars from the unsuspecting investors constructed as a means to avoid and evade tax authorities by directing the victims to wire their funds to the ‘Trust Account’ of STEWART and ASSOCIATES, a law-firm domiciled in Wellington, New Zealand. http://www.stewartlaw.co.nz/

From all appearances literally HUNDREDS of US and Canadian based investors have been defrauded of Millions of dollars.

Currently our investigative partners are working to gather victims and evidence to pursue Criminal charges in cooperation with the US Treasury Department (IRS) against all of the suspects involved in this conspiracy.

If you have been victimized by the individuals indicated in this public release or have material information that could assist and lead to Criminal Indictments of those responsible please contact this forum for additional information.

You may contact us via our “Contact Us” page.

{Should you be one of the ‘involved’ defendant(s) of this case and desire to resolve this matter, you may contact this forum and arrangements shall be made through an independent mediator to facilitate a settlement}

For additional information see the links included below:
http://galtsgulchchile.com/
http://dollarvigilante.com/
http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2013/9/3/galt%E2%80%99s-gulch-chile-%E2%80%93-where-the-world-is-coming-to.html
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/libertarian-expat-communities-chile
http://panampost.com/adriana-peralta/2014/09/04/galts-gulch-chile-libertarian-paradise-turned-nightmare/
https://www.internationalman.com/im-forum/viewthread/2757/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ACyTkJOjww
http://anarchast.com/about/
http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/26/freedom-and-liberty-not-enough-to-save-galts-gulch-chile-libertarian-community-from-bureaucracy-and-internal-dissent/
http://www.bitcoininspector.com/jeff-berwicks-warning-about-galts-gulch/

Dec
13

RESOURCES SENIOR CITIZENS

ELDERLY & SENIOR CITIZEN RESOURCES:

Elder Couple-2One object in this forums mission is to expose those who wish to harm our most vulnerable.

We have been asked by Assisted Living Today to post resources that may be able to give support and assistance to our Seniors and found it to be an excellent idea.  

We hope our visitors may find this useful.

Assisted Living Today

http://assistedlivingtoday.com/

National Center for Elder Abuse:       http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/

NCEA Sub-Link “Stop Abuse”:  http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/stop_abuse/index.aspx

Guide to Senior Living: State-by-State Options

http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/senior-housing/

Prevent Medicare Fraud: How To Avoid Abuse and Medical Billing Fraud
http://www.ehealthmedicare.com/about-medicare/avoiding-fraud/

AARP Health Resource Library
http://www.aarp.org/health/

Senior Care Resource Guide
http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.center.Senior-Care.94.html
Senior Health Info Page
http://nihseniorhealth.gov/

Search for Physicians
http://www.zocdoc.com/morespecialties

Elder Couple Beach

Nov
23

SHARON KLEYNE-FRAUD!!

SHARON KLEYNE OF ROUGE VALLEY NATURAL SPRINGS   BIO-LOGIC AGUA RESEARCH

Sharon Kleyne hired the below man to raise millions of dollars for her water operation. Many are claiming they have been scammed and lied to about what they were promised.

We are asking all victims to come together and advise us ASAP if you are a victim. If you have paid money
to Sharon Kleyne. 

Stories and victims together are being gathereed for a national story and a class action suit.

Do not trust Gary Neil Cramer. He has ripped off millions of dollars from victims all over the USA.

He has made many promises he has not kept. Cease and desist orders are in place!
Accused of multiple criminal offenses.
We are issuing one of our highest alerts on this scam artist! Look at just some of these links we found:
http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/S-02-338-03-FO01.pdfhttp://orchards.katu.com/content/brush-prairie-rape-suspect-arrested
For additional information contact http://www.equalizergroup.org
Articles Comments Off on SHARON KLEYNE-FRAUD!!
Nov
23

GARY NEIL CRAMER

GARY NEIL CRAMER VANCOUVER WASHINGTON-SCAMS


Beware of Gary Neil Cramer. He has ripped off millions of dollars from victims all over the USA.


He has made many promises he has not kept. Cease and desist orders are in place! Accused of various criminal activities.

Gary has developed a reputation of one of the most UN-trusted men in the USA!!


We are issuing one of our highest alerts on this scam artist!

Additional information in the links below:

http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/S-02-338-03-FO01.pdf

http://orchards.katu.com/content/brush-prairie-rape-suspect-arrested

 

For additional information contact: http://www.equalizergroup.org

Articles Comments Off on GARY NEIL CRAMER
Nov
23

NATHAN GAUB & DAWNDEE GAUB-FRAUD

Nathan Gaub of Yakima Washington up to the old Gaub Brother Tricks!

Nathan Gaub, brother of scam-master Dan Gaub who committed SUICIDE in May of (2012) after discovering he was under federal investigation for securities fraud, is now getting in line to be the next scam-master. Nathan Gaub Claims “Nathan w/ his brother, Dan, to have created an unsurpassed system of Forex Trading at a Reasonable Cost”. This statement is an outright lie, DONT BE FOOLED!!The Gaub brothers have never developed a FX trading system that is “UNSURPASSED to anything”, one investor close to the brothers said.

Dan Gaub was an extremely polished, smooth talking, charismatic fraudster, stealing tens of millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. Dan and his wife Dawndee Gaub were never licensed or registered to sell any type of securities, gave no prospectus as required by Federal Law. They never determined if the victims were accredited investors.

Dawndee Gaub KNOWINGLY conspired to lure and induce her closest friends into investing  their life savings to her husband fraudulent enterprise in order to live a Kings lifestyle from proceeds of the criminal enterprise. Dan Gaub made up fictitious wealth associates to give the appearance of affluence and credibility he often referred to as  “Clark” and “Terry”, Lies abound.

Allegations have surfaced from sources close the family that the brothers learned their trade of lies and scams early on from their Father “Evangelist” Ken Gaub who operates a “Christian” ministry. Ken has claimed to have preformed many incredible miracles to include raising people from the dead, that many say are nothing but deceptions to perpetuate his own fraudulent schemes based in religion.

Some witnesses are saying that Ken Gaub has actually made a claims to is deceased son’s fraudulent estate. Asserting that $2000.00 a month payments he made against personal a loan he made from his son, were actually his own money he had invested in Dan’s illegal pyramid Forex pyramid scheme. When actually the funds he had “borrowed” from Dan from stolen proceeds of the fraud to begin with.

A HIGH ALERT is being issued regarding Nathan Gaub. Investigators have rendered, that from reviewed of witness testimony that he is a man of very low moral Character following in the family tradition of making up lies just like his brother Dan in order to continue the fraud started by his Brother. Upon numerous requests from victims to “clear the air”, Nathan Gaub  refuses to show proof of the hundreds of millions his brother made from the FOREX system Nathan claims he and his brother developed together.

To date not one person has came forward to state that they learned anything that produced real profits from the Gaubs. In fact, each person that has been interviewed has stated the system Dan and Nathan claim to have developed to trade FX is a fraud and scam.

The investigation continues. As new developments in this reprehensible story unfold, they shall be published in this and other domestic and international forums.We will have more stories coming and we will be giving out these stories to more media. Unsuspecting victims need be advised of the Gaub family legacy of schemes and deception!

 

SCAM-MASTERS WIFE, DAWNDEE GAUB DEMANDS SHE BE PAID TO MANAGE HER LATE HUSBAND’S ESTATE IN LIEU OF MONEY BEING RETURNED TO THE SCAMS VICTIMS!!

Dawndee Gaub has demanded in court that money stolen from the scam victims be given to her to manage while being paid to do so!. Facts show that Dawndee Gaub was knowingly complicit in the fraudulent scheme to defrauded and bilked tens of millions of dollars from trusting investors. She conspired with her husband by inducing personal friends of hers to invest their life savings into the scheme.

Together they purchased and enjoyed yachts, fancy cars, luxurious vacations, fine dining a lifestyle most only dream of. Statements have been made by people close to the Gaubs that Dan gave “tons” of cash from victims to his father for Ken Gaub Ministries, who has has made a claim against the estate asserting that his son took money from him also and he wants to be compensated.

For additional information contact: http://www.equalizergroup.org

Articles Comments Off on NATHAN GAUB & DAWNDEE GAUB-FRAUD
Oct
24

Robert “Bob” Mihailovich-Scam Convicted Again!

Robert “Bob” Mihailovich Sr. Creates

“New” investment scheme: Violates

terms of Parole on previous conviction!

Beware of Mihailovich and the companies he has traded for (FXCM, I-Trade and Taurus Global Markets)  You will likely be swindled and LOOSE YOUR MONEY!!!!

Robert Mihailovich Sr. (a convicted felon) of 6218 new Forest Drive, Rockwall, Texas 75087 is under investigation for defrauding at least 14 individual investors of $900,406,000 dollars through Growth Capital Management Corporation.

Mihailovich pled guilty to a charge of mail fraud, aiding and abetting on 03-24-2005 for offenses which took place in 1999 and 2000. Federal District Court of Dallas Texas (3:05-cr-00067-N).   He was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $197,446.12 and pay a $50,000 fine and was ordered to serve 21 months in prison beginning October 3rd 2005.  After his release he was to serve three years of supervised release with a special condition that he “refrain from incurring new credit charges or opening additional lines of credit without approval from his probation officer Sherry Britt, probation office in Garland, Texas.  It was also alleged he obtained a line of credit in the amount of 50,000 from Chase Bank activity prohibited by his prior felony conviction.

Mr. Mihailovich claimed to have a 30 years history of never losing money investing in the futures market using his proprietary software program and “Better Math”. Mihailovich marketing materials made statements:  “NO WAY TO LOSE”, “NO RISK TO THE INVESTED CAPITAL” AND “RESULTS ARE GAURANTEED”.  At least one investor has a signed affidavit “Under penalty of perjury that he was told, “I have never experienced a loss in more than 30 years of trading”

Victims indicate that between about May 2008 and January 2009 Mihailovich operated by guaranteeing at least a 10% profit per month on each account, which he would then split -50/50 with each investor.  14 investors all have had similar experiences:   After depositing large initial investments to a joint trading account Mihailovich would draw down the account in a very short period of time.

The victims accounts some with beginning balances over $100,000 would be drained of value to less than a few hundred dollars in less than few short days blaming the losses on accounting errors of investment/trading firms holding the funds.

A source at the National Futures Association stated, “Failure to declare Mihailvoich was a convicted felon would be grounds for immediate dismissal”.   The SEC  (Securities and Exchange Commission) and the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) indicate that Mihailovich nor anyone from his company were registered to act as traders until September 12th 2008 when Robert Mihailovich Jr became a registered agent for Growth Capital Management through NFA http://www.nfa.futures.org/ and the CFTC http://www.cftc.gov/ .

Mihailovich entered agreements with and was allowed to manage and “Trade” funds through three different currency-trading companies without proper credentials;

TAURUS: http://tgmfx.com/  1300 Oak Creek Drive #319 Palo Alto, CA 94304 Tomo Sagare, President 650-814-7320, Kaz Nakanigaishi, Chief Representative 650-291-6642

ITRADE: 400 Colonial Center Parkway Suite #300 lake Mary, FL 800-842-6061 trading

FXCM (http://www.fxcm.com  Forex Capital Markets, Financial Square 32 Old Slip, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10005 USA  888-503-6739

FXCM was the only company that stepped forward and accepted any type of responsibility in this fiasco offering one investor who is a retired widow living on a “fixed income” a paltry  $3000 in exchange for signing a hold harmless in an attempt to have the victim release them of any further responsibility after her account went from $50,000 to $500 “within hours” between the 5th or 6th of January 2009.  This victim has since been forced to come out of retirement and gone back to work due to her significant loss. Additionally a previous employee has stated that Mihailovich owes him over $40,000 in back wages and has since terminated his employment.

If you have any information related to Mr. Mihailovich’s investment schemes please contact:

[email protected]

See press release from the CFTC:

CFTC Seeks to Revoke Registration of Growth Capital Management LLC Based on CFTC Anti-Fraud Action

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed a notice of intent to revoke the registration of Growth Capital Management LLC (GCM) of Rockwall, Texas. GCM is a registered Commodity Pool Operator and Commodity Trading Advisor.

The CFTC’s notice alleges that GCM is subject to statutory disqualification from CFTC registration based on a default judgment order and an order of permanent injunction entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on March 15, 2011, and June 26, 2012, respectively (see CFTC News Release 6299-12, July 9, 2012). The permanent injunction order requires GCM jointly and severally to make restitution to defrauded customers, disgorge ill-gotten gains, and pay a civil monetary penalty, together totaling over $9.3 million, for fraudulently soliciting over $30 million from customers to trade commodity futures contracts and foreign currency (forex). The order also permanently bans GCM from further violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and permanently bans GCM from engaging in certain commodities related activity, including trading and seeking registration in any capacity with the CFTC.

The court’s order arises out of a CFTC complaint filed on July 27, 2010, against GCM, Robert Mihailovich, Sr., and Robert Mihailovich, Jr., the son of Mihailovich, Sr. (see CFTC Press Release 5863-10, July 28, 2010). Mihailovich, Sr. was convicted and incarcerated on federal wire fraud charges, served 27 months and, while on a three-year supervised release, fraudulently solicited and accepted more than $30 million from approximately 93 customers to open managed trading accounts, according to the complaint. Mihailovich, Jr., at the time of GCM’s initial registration, failed to disclose Mihailovich, Sr.’s involvement with GCM and failed to disclose in CFTC registration filings that his father was a controlling principal of GCM, the complaint alleged.

The CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Alison B. Wilson, Boaz Green, Stephen T. Tsai, Maura M. Viehmeyer, Philip Tumminio, Michelle Bougas, Anne Termine, Gretchen L. Lowe, and Vincent A. McGonagle.

http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/pr6335-12

 

Oct
24

Offshore Trusts to Protect Your Assets?-Warning!!!

 

SECURING YOUR ASSETS IN OFFSHORE TRUSTS

Content provided by:  Ethan Conners-Senior Investigator

Having investigated white collar crime for more than 25 years in both the public and private sectors.  The one question it seems I am asked more than any other is, “how do I avoid loosing what I’ve worked so hard for”, or more simply how does one most effectively protect their financial well being?

Between 2009 and 2012,  an investigative study was conducted by the renowned advocacy/private intelligence organization Global Advocates (globaladvocates.ch).  This organization specializes in due diligence, the investigation of financial fraud and white collar criminal activity. The research team conducting the study was comprised mostly of former criminal investigators who were assigned the task of preforming due diligence on offshore Trust provider companies at the bequest of one of the most prominent international logistics corporations.

The results of this study is the primary inspiration for this article. The purpose is to inform, educate and offer guidance in order to help those who may desire to establish formal financial structures to make informed decisions and navigate the often murky waters surrounding asset protection through international/offshore trust structures, and avoiding crucial mistakes in that process.

Most of us have financial skin in the game of life. However, if you are one of the fortunate few who has been able to acquire above average wealth, then you likely know that you run a much greater risk of becoming “financial target”.  There are individuals and entities that lay in wait for an opportunity to take any and all of what you may have worked so hard for.

Then there’s is always the inevitable for all of us stricken with the human condition, death.  Many estates are torn asunder by greedy family members, our respective governments and lawyers upon our final demise due to lack of proper planning.

Let us not forget the intrusive and often unfair public obligations brought on by our most “well intentioned” governmental tax authorities.

For those who wish to take a proactive approach there are sophisticated legal mechanisms available to shield those who plan accordingly.

Unfortunately, in our current day society it has become acceptable practice to seek what is commonly referred to as “litigious opportunity”. It seems the world is littered with professional vultures circling, just waiting for the opportunity to strike and take what one might have, whether that be in a dissolution action, as more than 50% of all marital unions end in divorce, or other legal actions, you are at risk.

A great number of these potential adversaries come cleverly cloaked as honorable “officers of the courts”, attorneys, lawyers and barristers who make their living off the anguish and misfortune of others, “fee pigs“, as one fellow legal colleague put it.  Now we must acknowledge, that not all of the members of the ‘honored’ vocation are frivolous financial pirates, but enough of them are to have severely warped the once “Just” legal system and given the profession a bad reputation.

One recent study indicated that each of us stand a one in three chance of becoming entangled in a legal battle that could potentially destroy our “financial house”.  As a result of this trending litigious environment within the world we live, one must consider preventative measures, and if you happen to be someone of significant financial status your chances of coming under attack increase exponentially.

Therefore, You MUST take precautions to protect yourself and the legacy of your family.

Perhaps one of the most highly recommended methods to insure that you and your family’s livelihood is protected from adversaries, both pubic and private is that of an offshore trust structure.

Keep in mind however, “not all that glitters is gold.” In fact the Trust company with whom you consult, is just as important as the actual structure itself.  Don’t be fooled by glossy brochures and upscale furnishings.  Not all Trust structures are created equal either.  One must work with a Trust consultant/advisor who is based in moral principle having your best interest at hear, not fee driven and that is properly schooled in asset protection trust structures.

The genesis of the study to which I refer was a Trust client seeking to migrate substantial  Trust holdings from one Trustee company, who had acted contrary to their fiduciary responsibilities, to one of integrity.

As a result, dozens of companies were evaluated during the course of the three year study in jurisdictions ranging from Europe and Asia, to Central America and the Caribbean.  What was uncovered by all accounts was nothing short of startling.  Incidents were revealed in which well known trust companies who manage Millions and in one case Billions in assets had documented incidents of conducting themselves in a manner that was dishonest, incompetent and at times acting with deliberate malicious intent. In fact in some cases the conduct of these companies ended up literally costing the client(s) millions of dollars in losses, not to mention legal fees.

The findings in theses cases were evidenced by way of witness affidavits, official court records and supporting documentation relevant to the specific case. A vast amount of evidence was obtained directly from the former Trust clients that had themselves suffered at the hands of these incompetent and dishonest trustees.  The study revealed numerous instances where prominent highly respected Trust companies had acted in a manner that was not only inefficient, incompetent and adverse, but went so far as to deliberately violate client confidentiality for their own benefit and defense when a claims were raised in response to their questionable conduct.

Within the case study three specific incidents were selected to be closely examined based on the severity of the damages to the client as it directly related to the actions and conduct of the associated Trustee company.  Due to ongoing actions I am not at liberty within this venue to disclose the identities of the offending companies.  But, what  I can state are the international jurisdictions in which these companies are domiciled which were Gibraltar, Jersey-Channel Islands, and Switzerland to be specific.

It’s imperative to note that the three selected Trustee organizations are independent Trust companies and entirely unrelated to each other.

Further, the author MUST state that not all companies examined in these very prominent Offshore Trust jurisdictions were found to be of the same ilk.  In fact, there were numerous Trustee companies located within these countries that had no formal complaints or conflicts registered against them.

That being said, there were numerous cases where complaints had been lodged in varying jurisdictions outside the three mentioned herein. It seemed that no one jurisdiction was completely without tarnish.  However, I again reference these specific cases in the identified jurisdictions simply due to their severity, financial expense and legal burden inflicted upon the Trust client(s) involved, and the fact that each and every case noted could be substantiated by sworn evidence and official court filings.

It is vital that I make clear that the intent of this article is NOT to imply or assert that all or even most Trust companies conduct themselves in an unscrupulous manner, in fact quite to the contrary. It was the experience of most of the investigators that a vast majority of  international Trust companies do operate within standard range of ethical behavior.

The point of sharing the results and issues brought to light during this study is to encourage the reader whether they be current international Trust clients or individuals considering formation of a Trust structure, to do their own due diligence regarding placement of their assets in the hands of just anyone claiming to have their best interest at heart of their operations.

In the conclusion, based on the facts examined it is the authors opinion that a properly structured and administrated international Trust structure in most cases involving high net worth individuals and/or corporate entities are by far the best way to protect ones financial well being from potential threats public or private.

Note: {The author does not intend to make any specific recommendation toward any Trust operator or identify the companies referred to herein. Should one wish further information or would like direction to reputable offshore trust consultants and professionals please contact, [email protected].}

If you have been a victim of fraudulent scheme, anywhere in the world then it’s time to real justice and recover your losses, or should you be seeking additional information about this article and reliable international trust consultants please contact GRA for a FREE case analysis and recommendations  @   http://www.globaladvocates.ch/

Or call our U.S. Call Center @: 202.355.6756


 

 

Oct
24

OIL & Gas Investment Schemes

Oil & Gas Investment Schemes-Fraud

Contributed by: Lucas Trevant-Global Advocates

http://www.globaladvocates.ch

Securities regulators around the country warn that oil and gas investment schemes are alive and well. Rising oil prices have created a increased interest in investments in energy-related business ventures.

There certainly exist legitimate oil and gas investment opportunities, while involving varying degrees of financial risk. However, as in most any other investment opportunities, it is not unusual for illegitimate promoters to attempt to take advantage of investors by engaging in fraudulent practices.

Although some of these con artists have moved on to more lucrative venues since the end of  the oil boom in the mid-1980s, many continued to loiter on in the oil field. Now with the regular instability of oil prices, some of these snake oil salesmen have found their way back to these kinds of scams. When there is a highly publicized economic circumstance, which creates an possibility for money to be made legitimately, scam artists follow in the trending shadow to take advantage of the circumstances.


WHAT ARE OIL AND GAS INVESTMENTS?

Oil and gas investments come many forms, to include limited partnership interests, ownership of fractional undivided interests in leases, and general partnerships. Tax consequences and investor liability vary according to the type of product. Real general partnerships in which investors actively participate in the operations of the venture are not considered securities. A general partner, however, is personally liable for debts of the partnership.

In a drilling limited partnership, an oil or gas company may sell partnership units to investors and use the proceeds it raises to lease property and drill wells. In return for managing the project, the sponsor company generally takes an upfront fee that averages about 12-18% of a person’s investment (commonly referred to as tangible and intangible drilling costs) and also shares in a percentage of any revenue generated. In return, the promoter offers the investor the prospect of a substantial first year tax write-off and quarterly cash distributions from the sale of any oil and gas the partnership finds until the wells go dry.

Drilling partnerships have always been a wager, but recently, they have proven somewhat riskier than usual. This type of investment is very speculative, is a highly illiquid investment and can have a long holding period.


 

FRAUDULENT MARKETING TECHNIQUES

Fraudulent oil and gas deals are frequently structured with the limited partnership (or other legal business formation) in one state, the operation and physical presence of the field in a different state, and the offerings made to possible investors in states other than the initial two states. Thus there is less chance of an investor visiting a well site or a nonexistent company headquarters. Such a structure also makes it complicated for law enforcement officials in remote jurisdictions and victims to detect and expose the fraud.

While the majority of oil and gas investment opportunities offered may be legitimate, there have been many fraudulent ventures in recent years perpetrated by scam artists with no connection to a legitimate oil and gas company and with no track record of successful operations.

Even genuine oil and gas investments almost always bear a high degree of risk. Potential investors must realize the distinct possibility that they could lose the entire investment even in legitimate ventures.

 

RED FLAG WARNINGS

Sales pitches focused on highly publicized news. Scam artists read the headlines and will often use a highly publicized news item, like volatile gas prices, to lure potential investors and make their “opportunity” sound more legitimate.

“Can’t miss” wells. Every investment carries some degree of risk, so you should be skeptical of any oil and gas investment opportunity pitched as completely safe, with minimal risk.

Cold calls from someone you don’t know. Many fraudulent oil and gas offerings are conducted by unregistered persons who use general solicitation and high-pressure sales methods.

Unsolicited materials. Be especially careful if you receive unsolicited materials about an investment. Simply ignoring investment-related “junk” faxes, emails, voice-mail messages and regular mail may be your best strategy.

Limited opportunities. Scam artists often try to give you the impression that the “opportunity” they are promoting is scarce, hoping you will hand over your money hastily before doing any due diligence. This is an exclusive private deal open only to a special chosen few investors.

High rates of return. Compare promised yields with current returns on well-known stock indexes. Any investment opportunity that claims you’ll get substantially more could be highly risky

Tips or secrets. A promoter may discourage you from talking about the opportunity with someone you trust, like a loved one, attorney or financial professional.

The Salesman; has personally invested in the project.

The Promoter; has succeeded on every well drilled so far.

A Fantastic “discovery”; in an adjacent field or drilling property.

A large, well known oil company; is planning to operate in the area;


BOILER ROOMS & WEB/EMAIL PHISHING

In order to draw the interest of potential investors, unscrupulous promoters frequently use the Internet and “boiler room” offices with banks of phones staffed by salespeople with little to no experience in energy exploration, but plenty of background in high-pressure sales. Their methods include repeated unsolicited calls to possible investors, hyping the profitability of the bogus project. Some swindlers use glossy brochures and marketing materials. Also, beware of unsolicited oil and gas promotions on the internet and through “phishing” e-mails. State and Federal securities regulators caution potential investors to beware of the following claims in a typical high-pressure sales pitch, whether through unsolicited telephone calls or e-mail messages:


HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED

Securities regulators counsel potential investors not to be afraid to ask the difficult questions when being solicited for any type of investments. People wanting to invest oil and gas are encouraged to consider oil exploration companies that are well known and listed on the Stock Exchange.

One can reduce the risk of being swindled if you resist pressures to make rushed, uninformed investment decisions. There are several steps you should seriously consider before parting with your hard earned money. Securities regulators have developed a checklist of five key areas to consider before investing.

1. The Registration Requirements. Ask if the offering is filed with the securities commission in your home state or the state where the promoters are located. If so, contact the state agency for any information it may have available. If the promoter indicates that the offering is exempt from registration requirements in a particular state in where offers and sales are made, inquire as to which of the exemptions is claimed and the terms of the exemption.

Contact the state securities agency to confirm that the offering is indeed exempt. If the promoter claims a security is not involved at all, find out why and contact the state securities agency and confirm whether it really is a security being offered.

2. The Salesperson. If it is a legitimate deal, the salesperson will not be reluctant to provide you answers questions or written explanations. Request the name of the salesman offering you the security, where he is calling from and his background, specifically in other oil or gas ventures. Ask what compensation the salesperson will receive.

Contact your state securities agency to inquire if the promoter or salesperson has been sanctioned for previous violations of securities laws.

3. The Company. Ask the names of the principals of the company or the general partners offering the security, their backgrounds and experience in the  energy industry, and how long they have been associated with the company. Find out the history of the company, its capitalization, assets and retained earnings. What contingent liabilities does it have from other ventures? Does it have sufficient funds to cover unexpected costs? Is the tax treatment of the investments, as claimed by the promoters, supported by the IRS?

Find out the entity’s or general partners’ history in drilling operations. In particular, ask how long it has been in the oil and gas business, the number of wells drilled, the number of wells completed as producing wells, and whether the company retained its interests in the wells it drilled. Determine if conflicts of interest involving the promoter are disclosed. All the above information should be contained in a prospectus or “offering documents” that the promoter must furnish investors before they hand over their funds.

4. The Investment. Make sure funds raised are kept in a separate escrow account until used and that they won’t be commingled with other moneys. Also, be certain the money will not be used for purposes other than what they are designated. Ask how much money is to be raised and the cost per fractional interest. Ask how much of the money will pay for advertising, salaries, sales commissions and any estimated profit to the company. Ask what type of conveyance document will be provided after any investment is made.

Assuming the well is completed, ask what the completion costs will be for each investor, including bonus commissions to be paid (the purpose and amount), and whether investors may be obligated to pay in more money in the future. Ask what tax incentive might be available if a dry-hole is encountered and for intangible drilling costs. Finally, evaluate the risk involved in making the investment. Is the well to be drilled a wildcat (drilled in territory not known to be productive) or is the drilling to be done in an area of proven oil reserves?

5. The Lease. Secure a legal description of the property on which the project is to be drilled. How and when was it acquired? Is the principal selling the lease to the venture at the acquisition cost, and if not, how much profit is being made? Ask for a description of surrounding property, including local well completions and a geologist reports on the area. You will want to know if the lease is already in default and whether there is any overriding royalty or landowner’s royalty or other leasehold burden being paid.

Ask for a disclosure of the person(s) selling the lease, the cost of the lease and any relationship between the lessor and the operator. Secure a statement of the depth of the well to be drilled and an indication of when drilling is to begin. Insist on seeing a copy of the operator’s contract with the promoter.


FURTHER QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE INVESTING

The checklist of questions to ask and information one should obtain is long and it will take time and perhaps you may spend more money for outside consultation before you feel comfortable risking your money in the venture. It is always prudent to seek the advice of a neutral expert before committing funds to any investment deal. Be sure to consider the following additional questions:

  • Who will be responsible for payment of taxes? Will they be paid out of the investor’s share?
  • What is the location of available pipelines, or what method will be used to ship and sell any product?
  • What is the name and address of the operator? What is her/his experience with ventures of this type? What are the terms of the agreement with the operator, including the compensation terms?
  • How will the decision be made for completing the well or abandoning it? Who will make that decision? What is to become of funds received from the salvage value of equipment on the lease?

WHERE TO TURN FOR HELP

The securities administration in your state is responsible for informing and protection of investors. If you have questions about an investment, contact your securities commission. You can locate your securities commission by visiting;

http://www.nasaa.org/about-us/contact-us/contact-your-regulator/

It is always a good idea to contact your securities commission before you invest.

If you have been a victim of fraudulent scheme, anywhere in the world then it’s time to real justice and recover your losses.

 FREE case analysis contact [email protected] www.globaladvocates.ch

Or call our U.S. Call Center @: 202.355.6756

Oct
24

Anatomy of a “Ponzi” Scheme

Anatomy of a “Ponzi” Scheme:

Contributed by: Lucas Trevant-Global Advocates

http://www.globaladvocates.ch

It seems most people are familiar with the phrase “Ponzi Scheme” especially after 2008 when Bernard Madoff and his investment firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, were charged by the SEC with securities fraud for a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme perpetuated on his firm’s clients for many years.

In Madoff’s case he appeared to be a successful securities investor.  He had been a prominent member of the securities industry throughout his career.  He served as vice-chairman of the NASD, he was a member of its board of governors, and chairman of the New York region.  He was also a member of the NASDAQ Stock Market’s board of governors and it executive committee and served as chairman of its trading commission.   Over a period of 48 years he established a significant reputation in securities trading and his clients trusted him.

What is a Ponzi scheme?     

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors.  Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk.  In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity.

Why do Ponzi schemes collapse?

        With little or no legitimate earnings, the schemes require a consistent flow of money from new investors to continue.  Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when it becomes difficult to recruit new investors or when a large number of investors ask to cash out.

How did Ponzi schemes get their name?

        The schemes are named after Charles Ponzi, who duped thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme back in the 1920s.  At a time when the annual interest rate for bank accounts was five percent, Ponzi promised investors that he could provide a 50% return in just 90 days.  Ponzi initially brought and traded a small number of international mail coupons in support of his scheme, but quickly switched to using incoming to pay off earlier investors.

What are some Ponzi scheme “red flags”?

Many Ponzi schemes share common characteristics.  Look for these warning signs:

  • High investment returns with or no risk.  Every investment carries some degree of risk, and investments yielding higher returns typically involve more risk.  Be highly suspicious of any “guaranteed” investment opportunity.
  • Overly consistent returns.  Investments tend to go up and down over time, especially those seeking high returns. Be suspect of an investment that continues to generate regular positive returns regardless of overall market conditions.
  • Unregistered investments.  Ponzi schemes typically involve investments that have not been registered with the SEC or with state regulators.  Registration is important because it provides investors with access to key information about the company’s management, products, services and finances.
  • Unlicensed sellers.  Federal and state securities laws require investment professionals and their firms to be licensed or registered.  Most Ponzi schemes involve unlicensed individuals or unregistered firms.
  • Secretive and/or complex strategies.  Avoiding investments you do not understand or for which you cannot get complete information is a good rule of thumb.
  • Issues with paperwork.  Ignore excuses regarding why you can’t review information about an investment in writing, and always read an investment’s prospectus or disclosure statement carefully before you invest. Also, account statement errors may be a sign that funds are not being invested as promised.
  • Difficulty receiving payments.  Be suspicious if you don’t receive a payment or have difficulty cashing out your investment.  Keep in mind that Ponzi scheme promoters sometimes encourage participants to “roll over” promised payments by offering even higher investment returns.

What steps can I take to avoid Ponzi schemes and other investment frauds?

        Whether you’re a first-time investor or have been investing for many years, there are some basic questions you should always as before you commit your hard-earned money to an investment. The SEC sees too many investors who might have avoided trouble and losses if they had asked question from the start and verified the answers with information from independent sources.

When you consider your next investment opportunity, start with these five questions:

  • Is the seller licensed?
  • Is the investment registered?
  • How do the risks compare with potential rewards?
  • Do I understand the investment?
  • Where can I turn for help?

For more information, we suggest you read;  

http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fivequestions.htm

If you have been a victim of fraudulent scheme, anywhere in the world then it’s time to real justice and recover your losses.

 FREE case analysis contact [email protected]    http://www.globaladvocates.ch

Or call our U.S. Call Center @: 202-355-6756