Investor Protection Demonstration Planned

A peaceful demonstration in protest of SIPC’s unfair treatment of fraud victims and the slow progress in Congress is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, May 8th between 11am and 3pm on the Bowling Green Plaza in NYC. Please contact for more information.**Disclaimer: This event is independent and not under NIAP’s [...]

Political slowdown in Corzine probe?

The implosion of MF Global appears to be the single most investigated event in recent Wall Street history. The FBI, two US attorneys, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and several congressional committees all say they’re looking into the firm’s spectacular collapse last fall — and at just who’s responsible for the mysterious disappearance of $1.6 billion in customer money in its final days. Yet investigators say they’re having a tough time assigning culpability. Then-CEO Jon Corzine insists he was clueless about what was happening; mass confusion is the best explanation the probes seem to have found.
More in the New York Post [...]

MF Global: “This Was a Massive Theft”

Six months and counting. The lives of countless numbers of families and individuals are likely forever changed by what transpired at MF Global. Yet there remains no real accounting nor full retribution for the fiasco which unfolded within the walls of the firm that traced its roots to the late 1700s. More on Business Insider here.

Finra’s big loss prompts move to raise fees

To help cover an operating loss, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. plans to hike a number of user fees that it charges broker-dealers. “The broader economic downturn continues to affect trading volumes and industry revenues, which in turn has led to a decrease in Finra’s revenues and resulted in a significant loss for fiscal year 2011,” Finra chief executive Richard Ketchum wrote in an e-mail to member firms last Monday. As a result, “we are proposing adjustments to a number of user-based fees, all of which have remained static for more than five years,” he wrote. Read Investment News article [...]

Madoff Costs Surpass Victim Pay-Offs

Irving Picard, who said last year he hoped to pay investors in Bernard Madoff’s defunct firm as much as $65 billion, has only put his hands on about $2.6 billion to actually give back to customers. More than three years after Madoff’s epic swindle collapsed, Picard, the trustee responsible for liquidating the firm, has paid investors back about $330 million, while holding about $2.3 billion in customer accounts. About $6.4 billion that Picard has won in settlements with former Madoff investors is being challenged in court and is unavailable for disbursement.
More on Bloomberg Businessweek [...]

Advisors Beware: Criminals Have You Targeted as Investors Seek Yield

The criminal world’s best and brightest minds have targeted the advisory business as worried investors in the current low interest rate climate fall prey to scams that promise high returns, Financial Serial Killers co-author Tom Ajamie said Thursday at the annual meeting of the Financial Planning Association’s New York chapter. “These financial scams are a quick way to make a lot of money and more profitable than knocking over an old lady with a purse,” Ajamie warned several hundred FPA advisors in his keynote address. “You don’t have to get your hands dirty, and the criminal element attracted to these scams are very intelligent.” More on Advisor One [...]

Stanford Investors Seek Liquidators’ Pact on Claims Process

A group of Stanford International Bank Ltd. depositors asked a U.S. judge to order the receiver he appointed and rival bank liquidators selected by a Caribbean court to collaborate on a process to pay victims of R. Allen Stanford’s $7 billion fraud scheme. The depositors and other creditors of the Houston-based Stanford Group Co. securities firm filed their request today with U.S. District Judge David Godbey. Read Bloomberg report [...]

Grassley Presses Schapiro on SEC’s Treatment of Whistle-Blowers

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is facing questions from the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee about the agency’s protection of whistle-blowers. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa wrote a letter to Schapiro yesterday asking for details about how the SEC handles information provided by informants. The letter follows a report in The Wall Street Journal yesterday that during an investigation of Pipeline Trading Systems LLC an SEC lawyer showed a whistle-blower’s notes to company executives. More on Bloomberg [...]

New York, Florida Associates of ‘Mini-Madoff’ Arrested

Four associates of a New York businessman convicted in a $400 million Ponzi scheme were arrested Wednesday on charges they pocketed nearly $38 million in commissions for their efforts in advancing the fraud, federal prosecutors said. Three of the suspects were arrested without incident on New York’s Long Island and a fourth was taken into custody in Florida, said FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald. The three New York suspects — Jason Keryc, 34; of Wantagh, N.Y.; Anthony Ciccone, 39, of Locust Valley, N.Y.; and Diane Kaylor, 36, of Bethpage — made initial court appearances Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. More in the Insurance Journal [...]

Long Island Ponzi Scheme Pulled In $400 Million, Four Agape and Agape Merchant Advance Workers Charged

Four former employees of a Long Island-based investment firm were charged Wednesday with running a Ponzi fraud that cost more than 4,000 investors $179 million in losses, federal prosecutors said. Jason Keryc, Anthony Massaro, Anthony Ciccone and Diane Kaylor, misled investors at Agape World Inc and Agape Merchant Advance, by using other investors’ money to pay returns, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in a federal court in Central Islip, New York. It was a classic Ponzi scheme that ran for about five years and pulled in $400 million, the complaint said. More in the Huffington Post [...]