Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘scam’

In just a week, Bernard Madoff has reinserted the term ponzi scheme back in the public vocabulary. As we discussed earlier, these schemes are a lopsided business model and have been victimizing investors and the public for decades. Various financial commentators such as Peter Schiff and Max Keiser are beginning to echo sentiments that the U.S. economy is, in hindsight, resembling a larger scale ponzi scheme itself.

Shifting our focus back on the man who brought back our attention to this economic phenomenon, one has to wonder at the motivations and circumstances that created the Madoff scandal. Ponzi schemes are nothing new but every new incarnation doesn’t cease to disturb me. This Madoff caper in particular has three things I find bothering.

The first thing that disturbed me about the Madoff case is the high-profile nature of the parties that were affected by it. Madoff’s client list reads like a who’s-who-of-the-elite in the U.S.

Fox News reported that wealthy socialites comprised Madoff’s list of ruined clients:

Many of his investors came from the enormously wealthy enclaves of Palm Beach, Florida and Long Island, New York, where people had invested billions in Madoff’s firm for decades. He was a fixture on the Palm Beach social scene, and was a member of some of its most exclusive clubs, including the Palm Beach Country Club and Boca Rio Golf Club, where he drummed up much of his business.

The Wall Street Journal describes Madoff as a household name among elite circles:

During golf-course and cocktail-party banter, Mr. Madoff’s name frequently surfaced as a money manager who could consistently deliver high returns. Older, Jewish investors called Mr. Madoff ” ‘the Jewish bond,’ ” says Ken Phillips, head of a Boulder, Colo., investment firm. “It paid 8% to 12%, every year, no matter what.”

Evidently, the ability to make money grow consistently is a somewhat of a nectar to the rich folk, and arguably was the key in creating the brownie points for Madoff’s pedigreed credibility. In an analysis that Andy Kessler of Forbes on the Madoff tale, he drew some similar points in qualifying Madoff’s motivations in this context: (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

This film clip is related to The Greater Fool Theory: Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scam.

What is a “Ponzi scheme”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

 Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that involves paying abnormally high returns to investors out of the money paid in by subsequent investors, rather than from the profit from any realbusiness. It is named after Charles Ponzi[1]. The term “Ponzi scheme” is used primarily in the United States, while other English-speaking countries do not distinguish in colloquial speech between this scheme and other forms of pyramid scheme[2].

The scheme usually offers abnormally high short-term returns in order to entice new investors. The perpetuation of the high returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises (and pays) requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors in order to keep the scheme going.

Now the juicy part of this video is when Peter Schiff says that the national debt of the United States is financed based on a Ponzi scheme. Just check out his statements starting 6:38 of the video. But to really appreciated the way it unravels, watch it from beginning to end.

Read Full Post »

Bernard Madoff’s record-breaking fraud case made the headlines recently. Here’s the news item in the unlikely case you missed it:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bernard Madoff, a quiet force on Wall Street for decades, was arrested and charged on Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion “Ponzi scheme” in what may rank among the biggest fraud cases ever.

The former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market is best known as the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the closely-held market-making firm he launched in 1960. But he also ran a hedge fund that U.S. prosecutors said racked up $50 billion of fraudulent losses.

Madoff told senior employees of his firm on Wednesday that “it’s all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme,” with estimated investor losses of about $50 billion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s criminal complaint against him.

See more here.

This is not the first time ponzi scams have hit the public eye nor will it be the last. This latest affair with Madoff, although the amounts are larger and the victims include high profile individuals and institutions, the logic (or shall we say, illogic) of investment scams remain the same. About a year ago I started an internet thread on investment scams, and in light of this recent news item, I’ll repost a short discussion on high-yield investment scams, pyramid ponzi scams, and multi-level marketing schemes: (more…)

Read Full Post »

In 1981, the town of Medjugorje gained worldwide notoriety when news spread about the appearance of the Virgin Mary to 6 Bosnian children. Since that time, Medjugorje has become one of the largest and most popular pilgrimage sites for Catholic Christians and tourists worldwide.

Local clergy remain tentative however, on confirming the supernatural nature of the events in Medjugorje and have urged the visionaries to refrain from further public manifestations ahead of the official confirmation of the Church. But lately, the Vatican has taken a more definite stance on the Catholic shrine:

The Pope has begun a crackdown on the world’s largest illicit Catholic shrine – by suspending the priest at the centre of claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared more than 40,000 times.

Benedict XVI has authorised ‘severe cautionary and disciplinary measures’ against Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former ‘spiritual director’ to six children who said Our Lady was appearing to them at Medjugorje in Bosnia.

The Franciscan priest has been suspended after he refused to cooperate into claims of scandalous sexual immorality ‘aggravated by mystical motivations’.

In 1985 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict – banned pilgrimages to the site, but this has been widely ignored.

Despite this, pilgrimages continue on the site and one of the visionaries, Mirjana Solo, claims visions from Mary continue to the present day. Here is a recent video interview and message from Mirjana Solo: (more…)

Read Full Post »

Filipina Scammers

http://www.pointmancebu.com/filipina_scammers_in_cebu.htm

Here is the new Pointman Cebu Rogue’s Gallery, our our very own Scam Artists Central. These are girls, without a doubt, who have proven themselves to be scam artists, by meeting up with a possible (and genuine) mate online, and then kindly separating these unsuspecting, and sometimes a bit naive folks from their money.

The reason we have listed these girls here, rather than on the “Cases” page, is due to the fact that we have obtained large amounts of additional proof from various different government agencies (and other reliable sources), in order to prove true intent to scam our clients, on their part. These are more “professional” scammers, than the typical cases we have conducted, and have placed on our cases page.

Additionally, these scam artists are helping to destroy the faith others have in people throughout the world. When you meet someone online, and you are a genuine person in your heart, it is a horrible thing to be used by the person on the other end of your internet connection. You feel in your heart, they are the “one” for you. However, the only “one” in their minds, are the “one-hundreds” they can steal from you.

And how much did they scam?

http://www.pointmancebu.com/filipina_scammers_in_cebu.htm

PMC Case Date: 12/12/2007

Amount lost: Approximately $8,000 USD, plus

Name: Jackelyn Cainday

DOB: 11/9/1977 – Not confirmed

and

PMC Case Date: 08/30/2004

Amount lost: Approximately $8,000 – $10,000 USD

Name: Jelly Mae Sumagang

DOB: 05/20/1966

and

PMC Case Date: 10/11/2004

Amount lost: Approximately $5,000 USD

Name: Jovenyl Entienza Mangyao

DOB: May 30, 1984

A lot of Filipina scammers don’t need fancy computer skills to spam foreigners, all they need really is to chat with them and concoct of some fake sob story.

http://www.pointmancebu.com/filipina_scammers_in_cebu.htm

I gave her money before i met her, she told me how she did not eat very good food, so I wanted her and her son to eat better. Then her “bad luck” started, I will try and list the problems she had.

Her son got a kidney infection. Hospital stay and medication. She got dengue fever. hospital stay and medication. Because she was sick and in the hospital she fell behind on rent, 2500php for the room.

By this time I was a walking ATM machine with bi weekly withdraws.

My visit was from October 5 to 14, it was after that she would have an emergency every week. Her veggie stand was broke into and they stole all her capital. Of course I’ll help you, you love me.

<Her son> needs English lessons @ 4000php a month (full time wage for part time teaching). She got evicted from her room, so i agreed to rent her a house for 5000php a month. I had to furnish the house, dining table chairs, couch, TV, queen bed, air-con for bedroom refrigerator. I think i gave her over $1000 just for this.

Overnight trip to CDO to get her birth certificate. Lies I am sure. While in CDO at her aunts house, the mp3 player I got for her is stolen. <Her son> gets bit by a dog. Rabies shots that cost way too much. 3, then 4 of them.

Her Lolo is sick and in hospital, he can pay all but 8000php of his bill, lolo will pay me back in January when he sells a lot in town.

Her trip to Cebu is where she got robbed.

It is really such a pity when Filipinas resort to such things. To think, sometimes the amount they ask is practically loose change from a foreigner. If I were a foreigner or even a Filipino living abroad, I really wouldn’t mind helping out a poor Filipina who keeps me company over the webcam regularly to relieve me from my problems and stress. And no, I will not ask sex from her.

Read Full Post »