We have assisted hundreds of investors who lost money they invested in programs that turned out to be Ponzi schemes.
Ponzi schemes have been around since before the infamous Charles Ponzi. They come in many forms, and we see some novel types every year. Some of the schemes we have encountered in the past involved:
- promissory notes;
- private placements;
- oil-and-gas programs;
- sale-and-leaseback arrangements;
- real estate investments and REITs;
- hedge funds;
- forex programs;
- offshore asset protection programs;
- proprietary trading (algorithmic) programs;
- commodity trading programs;
- tenant-in-common (TIC) programs.
Ponzi schemes are perhaps the most damaging type of investment fraud because they are, by design, doomed to fail. A particularly destructive characteristic of Ponzi schemes is that the longer they last, the more likely they are to recruit large numbers of victims – drawn to those “investment opportunities” by their long history of success and timely return payments – and hence the more damage they cause. They wipe out investors’ life savings, and when they collapse – as they inevitably do – they usually leave behind a legal mess that takes years to sort out and more often than not results in meager restitution.
Because the restitution from the scheme itself is usually very small, in Ponzi scheme cases it is crucial to identify all parties that assisted the wrongdoer or otherwise played a role in the perpetration of the scheme. In our experience, some of these parties may have received investor money or may have otherwise profited from the scheme. Yet other times, such “enablers” have a duty to blow the whistle and alert the public and/or the industry regulators, but fail to do so.
In Ponzi scheme cases, we concentrate on identifying those accomplices or enablers that can be held liable and, if found liable, have the ability to compensate investors for their losses. Through painstaking research and investigations we seek to piece together the details of the fraudulent operation and determine whether any financial institutions or professionals played a role in the scheme and, if so, what was the extent of their participation.
Contact us and tell us about your case
We have represented thousands of victims of investment fraud, against financial institutions that failed to discharge their duties and protect the investing public. Each case is different and our past successes are not indicative of future results; we will be glad to review your case and advise you as to your options, at no charge.
We generally represent investors on a “contingency fee” basis, meaning we do not charge any legal fees unless and until we recover money for you. Our general practice is to advance the case costs on the client’s behalf and recoup them out of (and up to) the amounts recovered. A few jurisdictions (states) require the client to be responsible for the case costs; whenever that is the case we explain to the client what those costs entail.
If you believe you lost money because of investment fraud, it is important to take action. You may call at (585) 310-5140, email us, or contact us by using the “Contact” form on this page, and tell us about your case. There is no charge for us to evaluate your case.