Note: Below you’ll find a fact pattern, using entirely fictional people, that illustrates a type of securities fraud.
John was enjoying his retirement in Florida. Looking for ways to stretch his retirement savings, he attended a free seminar sponsored by an independent “financial education” firm.
During the seminar, he was encouraged to invest in a gold mining operation promising 18% to 36% annual returns. He was told there was no risk to him since all of the investments were fully backed by the company’s gold reserves.
After investing, John received dividend checks indicating that his investment was performing extremely well. Bolstered by this early success, he invested more. Several months later, he tried to get his investment back. The company stalled and stalled. Last week, John found out that the firm has been closed by the SEC, which claimed it was running a Ponzi scheme. His money is gone!
So where did his money go?
John wasn’t alone. The scheme lured more than 3,000 investors across the U.S. and Canada.