Too Good to be True
A woman promising bonds with interest rates exceeding 60 percent was indicted for fraud on Thursday after authorities claimed she swindled investors out of $4 million. According to a local CBS station, Lauderhill, Fla.-based Jenny Coplan allegedly sold investors phony bonds in her role as president of Immigration General Services LLC.
Instead of investing clients’ money in low-risk bonds backed by the FDIC as she promised, Coplan allegedly used new investor funds to pay off the old. It’s not clear at this time whether Coplan or her firm were registered with regulators, but IGS has three complaints against it with the Better Business Bureau.
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An ex-convict pretending to be a registered financial advisor turned himself into authorities this week after a warrant for his arrest was issued, according to the Newark-based Star-Ledger newspaper.
Germaine Theodore allegedly claimed to be a New Jersey advisor running TGC Movement, promising to help clients reduce their debt by as much as 35 percent. He and his firm collected fees from clients in advance, but never actually followed through in reducing investors’ debts, authorities claim.
Sadly, this is not the first time Theodore has been in trouble for shady schemes. He previously served 7 years for a range of financial crimes, including identity theft, passing bad checks and theft by deception.
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More than a dozen investors learned their lesson the hard way after an unregistered broker swindled 18 investors out of $2.1 million. Michael R. Enea consented to SEC fraud charges earlier this month, which alleged the Wisconsin resident used investor funds to pay personal expenses.
According to the regulator, Enea pitched investors the idea of funding a "credit card portfolio," which he described as a group of retail merchants who pay fees to credit card processors each time one of the merchants' customers made credit card purchases. But instead of investing the funds solicited from investors into this alleged portfolio, Enea allegedly used $1.35 million to pay off previous investors and then spent the remaining $760,000 on personal and business expenses.
Enea agreed to settle the charges, disgorging $763,803 and paying pre-judgment interest of $79,317 without admitting or denying the SEC’s claims against him.