According to media reports nationwide, authorities in New York have charged 54-year-old Steven Bingaman with creating and running a Ponzi scheme that allegedly defrauded nine investors out of over $1.2 million. The venture ran by Bingaman is yet another fraudulent Ponzi operation to hit the media waves.
The scheme operation conducted by former stock broker Bernie Madoff, who defrauded investors of $50 billion, is historically to date the most well-known. The investment firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was founded by Madoff in 1960. In the fall of 2008, the company had acquired over 4800 clients and accountability to these clients totaled $50 billion.
Madoff pleaded guilty to operating a massive investment fraud scheme and was sentenced in 2009 to 150 years in prison.
Another high-profile Ponzi scheme involved former stock brokers Edward A. Allen and David L. Olson who headed the investment firm World Group Securities. In May of last year, the two were charged with operating an illegal Ponzi scheme that netted them almost $15 million between September 2005 and December 2008. Both received 30 year prison sentences.
In March of this year, the SEC targeted Mike Watson Capital, LLC, a Utah-based company. The investment firm is reported to have generated almost $30 million from over 100 investors.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 47 enforcement actions were filed against Ponzi schemes or “Ponzi-like” schemes in 2010. And, more are seemingly to come.
Due to the penalties associated with these types of activities, seeking the help of an investment fraud attorney is recommended.