Skip to comments.Calif. Man Charged with $40 million Ponzi scheme
Posted on 03/22/2009 12:17:29 PM PDT by Colofornian
SACRAMENTOFederal prosecutors unsealed a complaint Friday charging the president of a suburban Sacramento company with running a $40 million investment scam that bilked about 150 investors, many of whom he met through his Mormon church.
One of his associates was charged with impersonating a federal agent in what prosecutors say was a bizarre shakedown scheme to recover some of the lost money.
Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown said Anthony Vassallo, 29, of Folsom, promised investors in his hedge fund 36 percent annual returns with little risk of loss. But he put their money into high-risk ventures, as well as luxuries like a $103,000 Lexus for his wife.
Most of the money was gone by September 2007. So, investigators say, he stopped trading securities and started making up investment information that reported continued profits.
He also paid off some investors using other investors' money, said Internal Revenue Service agent Scott O'Briant.
"You rob from Peter to pay Paul. Eventually you run out of Peters and Pauls," O'Briant said.
That's when the alleged Ponzi scheme collapsed like many others in the faltering national economy.
The federal Securities and Exchange Commission shut down Vassallo's Equity Investment Management and Trading Inc. last week. It froze $1.2 million found in one of Vassallo's bank accounts.
Vassallo turned himself in and was ordered detained during a federal court appearance in Sacramento on Friday. He faces up to 20 years on fraud and money laundering charges and up to 10 years for securities law violations
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
Like they say, when the tide goes out, you can tell who wasn’t wearing a swimsuit...
I went from a :) on your comment to a :( when I realized how true it was.
Affinity fraud. Madoff picked mostly Jewish organizations and individuals because he was Jewish and had an in, and this guy picked mostly Mormons because he was Mormon. Fraudsters are completely amoral sociopaths. They use everyone and everything around them to achieve their completely selfish goals.
or "There is always more than one roach"
So much for those honest Mormons we are always hearing about. As a group, Mormons are not all that honest in their business dealings; and I speak from experience. Only attorneys are worse.
In my experience in the field of finance, most pyramid schemes and get rich schemes have a Utah address.
I wonder if all ponzi scheme victims will get the same benefit??
If not, why not??
Bobama's Ponzi has the "backing" of the federal gov't (/snic).
I am not really surprised. There was a book out several years ago called “The Darker Side of Virtue” that examines how LDS CULTURE feeds this kind of activity.
It is a hard book to find anymore, but a great read. Even talks about some scams GA’s were involved in.
Well, spiritual fraud (Joseph Smith) and financial fraud (Joseph Smith's Kirtland Bank, etc.) begets generational fraud.
I would swear that I heard crickets chirping on this thread.
Another liar, thief, and charlatan married to a woman with very expensive "maintenance."
It would be too low to call her a high price prostitute.....sort of.
That is exactly what came to my mind.
Ahhh...Thank you, I was unaware of the personality of them. lol.
Sorry... bad grammatical structure. Too much Latin today. :)
Not that hard to find:
The Darker Side of Virtue: Corruption, Scandal, and the Mormon Empire (May 1991) by Anson Shupe
10 Used & new from $5.98
I guess if your 'customers' are folks who will believe a wild story about astronomical riches; the MORMON Organization® would be a really good place to look.
I know a fellow who thinks it's Presbyterians and Baptists...
Just wait; you hateful BIGOT!
Pretty soon ALL of us VICTIMS of you ANTIs will be here to post the REST of the truth that you've left out: making your statements half truths.
--MormonDude(When would be a good time for a couple of wise young folks to stop by your home and tell you about how you, too, may be exalted?)
At least THAT is Scriptural!
Sorry to be late today teach, I was dreaming of my certain exaltation. Could you send a couple of light and delightsome 25-30 year old women in speedos with their shovels and rakes? Gardens need digging and dirt needs turning. Old man binger can't lift his tools without a bit of help. Surgery procedure you know?
But ohhhh the morning cup of coffee.
The thing about Baptists is they are such snobs; they won’t even recognize your presence in the liquor store.
This guy is a huckster just like all the folks at TBN. He wasn’t as big time as TBN.
Sorry, I don’t like to fish and I’ve never been to Utah in my life. Hope you have fun with whatever little response that was supposed to be.
Me thinks thou thinketh MUCH to highly of thy burden!
Religion aside; Utah is BEAUTIFUL!!!
Religion aside, so is much of the south but historically various religions have made it an unpleasant place. There are lots of dry counties scattered around where the bootleggers and the preachers both make profits from prohibition. There were many years of racial strife that were a combination of populist politics and carryover segregationist religion.
However, when you know people individually, it is a wonderful place. Most problems of the world come with insisting on dealing with people strictly as members of groups.
My best friend in the world is a full fledged member of two groups that I am not particularly fond of, Presbyterians (sorry, my friend, but I could NOT resist that one) and Lawyers. He is also a democrat, although I believe he is one of the last three living conservative democrats (Sam Nunn, Zig Zag Zell Miller and Ken) and a darned fine police officer to boot. I never think of him as one of the members of those groups, just as my friend. Going to see my friend makes a trip to Georgia worth my time and effort.
I am impressed with your candor.
You do have a warm spot in your heart for folks.
I wish that you’d remember that all groups are made up of individuals (I should; too!) and we all need forgiveness:
For the things we’ve done in the past and the things we may do in the fiture.