Category Archives: Investor fraud

Initial Coin Offerings and SEC Enforcement: Protecting Investors (Part I)

  By Dan Portnov The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (“OIEA”) came in hot last week with its HoweyCoin initial coin offering pre-sale – a mock ICO designed to teach cryptocurrency-hungry investors the lesson that some ICOs may … Continue reading

Posted in CFTC case, Due Diligence, Investor fraud, SEC Investigation, Securities fraud | 2 Comments

Marge Would Not Be Happy: The Simpsons’ Former Executive Producer Indicted for Fraud

I’ve written about fraud in the entertainment industry before. Last time it was Broadway, this time it’s Hollywood. The government recently indicted four employees of a California-based movie production company, Gigapix Studios Inc. (“Gigapix”), on charges of mail fraud, wire … Continue reading

Posted in Investor fraud, Mail Fraud, Securities fraud, Wire Fraud | Tagged | 2 Comments

Expected 151 Months; Got 276 Months. Is Cooperation Worth It?

Frank Castaldi’s story serves as a cautionary tale for anyone trying to cooperate with the government to get a better deal. In 2008, Mr. Castaldi turned himself in to government investigators, revealing his $77 million Ponzi scheme. Mr. Castaldi fully … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Investor fraud, Plea Agreement, Sentencing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Special Victims Unit: Sports Stars?

In certain fraud cases, defendants allegedly target groups of victims, such as the elderly or members of an ethnic or religious group (commonly known as “affinity” fraud). But, today, I bring you two cases that involve a very specialized group: … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy, Indictment, Investor fraud, Mail Fraud, Money Laundering, Plea Agreement, Wire Fraud | Tagged | 1 Comment

Treating Individuals Like Corporations—But In a Good Way: SEC’s First Deferred Prosecution Agreement With an Individual

Since January 2010, corporations facing SEC investigations had one big advantage over individuals: they could seek a deferred prosecution agreement. DPAs allow companies that committed wrongdoing to avoid prosecution, most often by undertaking significant compliance efforts, or engaging a corporate … Continue reading

Posted in Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Investor fraud, SEC Settlement, Securities fraud | Tagged | Leave a comment

What Does the TD In TD Bank Stand For? Also, Did TD Bank’s Vice President Help Scott Rothstein’s Ponzi Scheme?

The SEC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency both claimed that TD Bank assisted Scott Rothstein—the Florida lawyer currently serving 50 years in prison for a Ponzi scheme—with committing fraud. The OCC contended that TD Bank violated … Continue reading

Posted in Investor fraud, SEC Investigation, Securities fraud | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bernie Madoff Accountant Faces Parallel DOJ and SEC Cases

A lot of people have faced charges in the Bernie Madoff scandal over the past few years. Madoff’s accountant, David Friehling, pleaded guilty to falsifying documents. Madoff’s son Peter pleaded guilty to several criminal charges and was sentenced to ten … Continue reading

Posted in Indictment, Investor fraud, Securities fraud | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Spike Lee Would Be Proud: Government Does the Right Thing (In a Securities Fraud Case)

Da Mayor: Doctor. Mookie: C’mon, what? What? Da Mayor: Always do the right thing. Mookie: That’s it? Da Mayor: That’s it. Mookie: I got it. I’m gone. Do the Right Thing (1989) (yes, 1989—you are that old) Except for “not … Continue reading

Posted in Dismissal of charges in indictment, Investor fraud, Securities fraud, Sentencing, Wire Fraud | Leave a comment

This Time It’s Personal: Investment Manager Pleads Guilty to $72 Million Fraud Scheme

A few years ago, a woman was referred to me. She thought someone had scammed her husband out of a lot of money. I wish I could tell you I was able to help her, but I wasn’t. I always … Continue reading

Posted in Investor fraud, Mail Fraud, Plea Agreement | Leave a comment

Quick Cases: Defrauding Investors

This is the one of my recurring posts that offer quick summaries of similar cases. Think of them as the Kay and Peele version of my blog posts, though not nearly as funny and always safe for work. It is … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy, Indictment, Investor fraud, Plea Agreement, Securities fraud, Sentencing | Tagged | 1 Comment