Regulatory group warns of gold scams

First came the boom. Then came the scams. Now comes the warning. Individuals who have become enamored of gold amid the dramatic rise in the price of the precious metal should be on the lookout for investment traps hatched by con artists, according a warning issued Wednesday by a financial-industry regulatory group. Read LATimes Blog here.

Why Is NYT’s Dealbook Blog Defending SEC Misdeeds?

From the moment I first heard about the SEC’s 17-year history of document-shredding, I started wondering what defense the agency would eventually offer. For surely there had to be one; no great bureaucracy, public or private, just sits back and lazily accepts allegations of gross incompetence and/or corruption. There is always blowback, usually in the form of an outraged denial, and sometimes in the form of an attack upon the messenger, but always something. Read more in Roilling Stone [...]

Here’s the Next ‘Madoff Fraud’: Whistleblower

The man whose emails detailing Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme were ignored by the Securities and Exchange Commission has a new target — foreign exchange fraud. Read CNBC report here.


SEC Officials Are Focus of Inquiry

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s internal watchdog is investigating whether enforcement officials misled the government’s archives agency last year by saying the SEC was “not aware” of the destruction of certain probe-related records, according to people familiar with the matter. Read more in the Wall Street Journal [...]

Madoff Whistle-Blower Feared Mobsters Would Kill to Stop Probe: Interview

Harry Markopolos knew right away that Bernie Madoff was a crook. While working for Rampart Investment Management in 1999, Markopolos was told about a money manager whose consistent profits seemed too good to be true. When Markopolos looked at Madoff’s financial records, he saw that the returns rose steadily at a 45-degree angle, with none of the wide swings usually associated with big-time investors. Markopolos alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission several times, but the agency failed to investigate. The swindle continued until Madoff confessed to his family and was arrested in December 2008. Read Bloomberg report [...]

NIAP Files Amicus Brief on red flags

Large institutions in a position to help stem investment fraud have, in our opinion, both an ethical and financial responsibility to do so. Institutions, such as JP Morgan Chase, where the primary Madoff banking account was held, have a responsibility to know their customer, monitor the activities of these accounts and do appropriate levels of due diligence, particularly in light of certain suspicions (“red flags”) harbored and circulated. Regular investors, even personal friends of the Madoff family, on the other hand, would probably have had no such knowledge or suspicion, unless they were receiving unusually high rates of return or other accommodations. NIAP has filed an Amicus Brief regarding the JP Morgan Chase case in the District [...]

Civil trial set in phony Kodak bid

A Florida man accused of financial fraud in trying to pump up Eastman Kodak Co. and American Airlines stock is scheduled to go on trial in January. Read more on Democrat and Chronicle [...]

FINRA Clarifies Social Media Guidelines for Broker-Dealers

In a long awaited guidance published on its website, the watchdog for the brokerage industry offered fresh guidance about the approvals they need before communicating with potential or existing customers on social media sites or via Twitter. The guidance expands on a regulatory notice issued by FINRA in January 2010. Read more On Wall Street [...]

Bernie Madoff and Elie Wiesel Share Fictional Stage

Two years down the pike, much of the Sturm und Drang surrounding Bernard Madoff and his elaborate Ponzi scheme has become more nuanced. Nowadays, Madoff’s behavior does more than just provoke shock and indignation; it raises questions about Jewishness, human dignity and, above all, morality. These questions are embodied by the situation of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, one of the more prominent individuals bilked by Madoff. Read more in the Jewish Daily Forward [...]

In conversation with Harry Markopolos, the guy who went after Bernie Madoff

The film, “Chasing Madoff”, is about the travails of Markopolos and his investigative team in trying to build a case against Madoff. Sadly, Markopolos was never successful – Madoff’s fall was his own doing, the result of a sour economy that resulted in more investors requesting more amounts of cash that Madoff couldn’t accommodate. Read LA Observed article [...]