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Ponzi Schemes

December 12, 2009 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Federal prosecutors disclosed Friday that they were conducting a criminal investigation of Beverly Hills money manager Stanley Chais, who is accused of serving as the Southern California link to a Ponzi scheme operated by disgraced financier Bernard L. Madoff. Assistant U.S. Atty. William J. Stellmach revealed the criminal investigation in a motion that sought to postpone for six months a civil lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Chais in June. Stellmach said that proceedings in the SEC lawsuit, if not suspended, could interfere with an "ongoing, parallel criminal investigation" of Chais.
October 3, 2009 | Walter Hamilton
Four relatives of Bernard L. Madoff who worked at his investment firm either knew about his epic Ponzi scheme or should have known about it, according to a lawsuit filed Friday by the government-appointed trustee liquidating the swindler's assets. The suit seeks to force Madoff's brother, two sons and niece to repay almost $200 million that they allegedly withdrew from the firm over the years to pay for luxury homes, swanky lifestyles and even a hair salon. The suit doesn't accuse the four -- Peter Madoff, the brother; sons Andrew and Mark; and niece Shana Madoff -- of direct involvement in Bernard Madoff's scheme.
July 4, 2009 | Anthony M. DeStefano, DeStefano writes for Newsday.
A last-minute rush by investors, including one who drove from Mexico to Dallas to beat the July 2 deadline, pushed the final number of claims in the Bernard L. Madoff fraud to more than 15,000, officials said Friday. They e-mailed, mailed and walked their claims to a central processing office in Dallas and the New York office of Irving Picard, the trustee appointed by the federal Bankruptcy Court to recover assets for distribution to defrauded investors.
August 17, 1989 | MYRON LEVIN, Times Staff Writer
In a dreary subterranean archive near the Los Angeles County Hall of Records, 60 crates of documents testify to litigation run amok. They are part of a case known as Willow Ridge, which has generated more paper than any other in the history of Los Angeles Superior Court. The records would stand eight stories high if piled in one place. And they don't include hundreds of thousands of documents interred in a separate storage warehouse, or transcripts of as many as 1,000 depositions.
June 15, 2001 | From Times staff reports
A Laguna Niguel man was convicted Thursday of bilking investors, most of them elderly Orange County residents, out of more than $10 million by selling them practically worthless oil and gas partnerships. After deliberating for two days, a U.S. District Court jury in Santa Ana found Lance Van Alstyne, 34, guilty of engaging in a Ponzi scheme from 1992 to 1994. "As Ponzi schemes go, this is a medium-sized one," said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.
May 30, 1985 | From the Associated Press
There may yet be hope for all those disappointed people who had wanted to make a million dollars raising earthworms. Think larvae farms. As in: "Grow Rich With Silk-Spinning Moths." Or how about growing fungus for use in exotic cosmetics? For those too sophisticated for such come-ons, there's always room to play around with mass-market tax shelters, or high-tech stocks or even designer jeans.
An Orange County couple who lost $207,646 in an alleged oil lease scam several years ago have won a $2.6-million court judgment against the defunct Huntington Beach investment companies that ran the telemarketing operation. Ronald and Joan Grosse of Garden Grove won the judgment against Beacon Energy Inc. and Beacon Income Fund XVIII. The two companies, however, are subsidiaries of Pacific Coast Financial Services Inc.
December 9, 2003 | E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writer
The trustee in the Reed Slatkin bankruptcy doubled his estimate Monday of what victims of Slatkin's Ponzi scheme might recover, saying it could reach 40 cents for every dollar lost -- and more if investors who came out ahead in the scam would "find it in their hearts" to return some of their profits.
January 31, 2004
Little has changed since Charles Ponzi dreamed up a postage stamp speculation scheme that made the businessman fairly rich and left thousands of New Englanders fairly angry. Lured by the promise of 40% returns when banks were offering a mere 5%, investors knocked greedily on Ponzi's door -- dumping $1 million into his lap during a single three-hour session in 1921.
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