Diversified Global Finance - Madoff III?!

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Feb 1, 2009 8:33 pm

I had a former client pay me a visit yesterday and after what she showed me, I'm convinced that she's getting screwed.  Back last summer when she left, I wrote her a note and told her that I was sorry things hadn't worked out better and invited her to call me if she needed anything else.  Frankly, I didn't expect to hear from her again, so when she called to set up an appointment, I was curious enough to agree to meet with her since she was the only client I had last year actually leave me without even talking to me.  Here's the story as briefly as I can put it...

 
Apparently, my client's wealthy brother found another investment group that was paying well...VERY well.  Up until December, he was making 3% a month(!)  Now, they are making a paltry 1% per month.  She tells me that her brother paid an attorney to do some due diligence on this firm and that between the two of them and a couple of other family members, they've invested over a mil with this group.  Aside from my skepticism about these high "guaranteed" returns, I had some other flags pop up...
 
1.  The "statements" are on letterhead and have zero disclosures on them.
2.  The "firm" is supposedly domiciled in Auckland, New Zealand.
3.  The "statements"  were metered and apparently mailed from Grand Rapids Michigan
4.  The envelope was hand-addressed and the print looked like it was written by a teenager.
5.  She told me that she was charged a $1,995 transfer fee(!)
 
Here's the company website:
 
http://www.diversifiedglobalfinance.com.pa/
 
I feel badly for her since it looks like she was sucked in by a family member she trusted, and she can ill-afford to lose the money she's entrusted these folks with.  Based on what I'm seeing, I can't imagine that these folks are legitimate and I wonder what kind of an attorney blessed such a suspect "firm".  If any of you have any words of wisdom, or better yet, have had experience with this firm, I'd appreciate any information since I told her I'd check into the firm to make sure it was OK (I didn't want to alarm her).
 
The things I run into never cease to amaze me...
Feb 1, 2009 8:45 pm

What's the problem? It sounds like you're being set up to do some free consulting. Smart lady. 

Feb 1, 2009 8:48 pm

If it gets another group of slimeballs off the street, I'll do a little pro bono work.

Feb 1, 2009 8:59 pm
Indyone:

If it gets another group of slimeballs off the street, I'll do a little pro bono work.




Let's call Dog Chapman to help us make a citizen's arrest in New Zealand.

Feb 1, 2009 9:57 pm

It says right on the website that they're not regulated, they're not a financial institution, and they have no relationship with any governmental office.  She's either willfully ignorant or too stupid for her own good.  It's not your problem.  You're better off not dealing with her at all going forward.  I'd inform her of the disclosure and wish her the best of luck.

Feb 2, 2009 10:27 am

Yeah, DK...I know I owe her nothing...especially when she left without even talking to me.  The other side of me feels sorry for someone who's not very sophisticated about investments and was encouraged into this mess by her own brother.  If this is what I think it is (ponzi), future family reunions may be pretty tense.  I'm taking your advice, telling her why I'm concerned and referring her to the semi-local FBI financial crimes office to see what their opinion is.

Feb 2, 2009 1:45 pm

Looks like these guys are part of the NZ company:

http://www.iocholdings.com.pa/web/about.php
 
They are based out of Grand Rapids, MI.
 
Good luck with your search.
Feb 2, 2009 5:10 pm

Thanks for that bit...I'm still just as confused about what these folks really are, but at least you solved the Grand Rapids connection.  I'm just shocked that David W. McQueen doesn't turn up any results in FINRA's broker check...

Feb 2, 2009 11:20 pm

50k gets you a 12% cd for 5 years.......wow

Feb 2, 2009 11:33 pm

"Diversified Global Finance is not a licensed securities broker,
financial institution, or government agency; nor is it, or any of its
associates, affiliated with, or endorsed by, any financial institution,
government or government agency".

"Term deposit accounts earn up to 10.25% APY. Special Offering &
Private placement 12%-18% or higher. Unlimited income potential. "

Makes me want to cancel my ING savings account!  Screw ~2%!!

Feb 3, 2009 12:16 am

The amazing thing is that other than their websites I can't find ANYTHING about them posted anywhere else...at least not by using google.

Weird.

Maybe someone with more search savvy can help us out here...or maybe there really isn't anyone else.

How in the world could someone give them money and not be suspicious of such high rates?

Feb 3, 2009 9:13 am

Here is the WhoIs information:

 


Registrant:
   Diversifed Global Finance
   3819 Rivertown Parkway
   Suite 300 PMB 200
   Grandville, Michigan 49418
   United States

   Registered through: FindingMyDomain
   Domain Name: DIVERSIFIEDGLOBALFINANCE.COM
      Created on: 15-May-08
      Expires on: 15-May-09
      Last Updated on: 15-May-08

   Administrative Contact:
      McQueen, David  [email protected]
      Diversifed Global Finance
      3819 Rivertown Parkway
      Suite 300 PMB 200
      Grandville, Michigan 49418
      United States
      (616) 988-6020      Fax -- (616) 988-6070

   Technical Contact:
      McQueen, David  [email protected]
      Diversifed Global Finance
      3819 Rivertown Parkway
      Suite 300 PMB 200
      Grandville, Michigan 49418
      United States
      (616) 988-6020      Fax -- (616) 988-6070

 
Seems the domain was registered on May 15th, 2008.  It's pretty new.
Feb 3, 2009 10:50 am

This is interesting, I googled the 3819 Rivertown Pkwy (Suite 300) address, and this is what I found:


Pak Mail

Tags: Movers, Movers, Packaging
3819 Rivertown Parkway SW # 300, Grandville, MI 49418
www.pakmail.com

(616) 534-5160
(616) 534-5685 (fax)

 

On the website, the company just mentions 3819 Rivertown Pkwy, but the Whois data mentions Suite 300. 

 

You can tell your client that she is sending her money to an anonymous mailbox in a strip mall, that should make her feel real good!

 

Tell your client to take their money out and run like the wind.  This thing has GOT to be a fraud.
Feb 3, 2009 11:07 am

PMB 200

 
Pak Mail Box?
Feb 3, 2009 12:17 pm

That's some great information you all have dug up and I appreciate all your efforts (especially yours, Hank).  I've sent a note to her explaining my concerns and advising her to call the FBI.  I'm going to share a few more of these posts so she can give the FBI a jumpstart in going after these bastards.  I hope these people get their money back, but if not, I guess it is a valuable lesson...

Feb 3, 2009 12:20 pm

I think it's a sad commentary on what people will fall for if only given the opportunity.  I guess the old addage that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is doesn't apply any longer.  

 
Indy - have you tried calling the phone number?
Feb 3, 2009 12:26 pm

Indyone, has she tried to remove her money? 

 
 
Feb 3, 2009 12:27 pm
Spaceman Spiff:

I think it's a sad commentary on what people will fall for if only given the opportunity.  I guess the old addage that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is doesn't apply any longer.  

 
Indy - have you tried calling the phone number?
 
I haven't.  I started to and then stopped because I was too pissed off.  I also decided that it was better to notify the FBI before these crooks were tipped off (I hope they don't read this forum).
Feb 3, 2009 12:30 pm
anonymous:

Indyone, has she tried to remove her money? 

 
No.  Up until today when she receives my first bit of mail on the subject, she thinks the whole thing is as good as gold.  I can only imagine what she'll think when I share some more of the information you all have been so kind to dig up.  Assuming she's not too ashamed to call me, I will share the results of what happens in this saga.  It's sad, but very interesting...and I have a feeling that after the names are changed to protect the skinned, it will make my next newsletter as a valuable warning.
Feb 3, 2009 12:43 pm

I think you have to leave your mind at least a little open to the possibility that they are in fact for real.  At least the New Zealand version.  Now the Pak Mail box version is certainly fishy, but the folk in NZ may be legit.  Of course, then that's what Bernie's clients would have said too.  I don't think there's any harm in letting her know that if she's investing with anyone, it's with this group out of NZ.  That's a fun one.  Good luck with it.  Keep us posted.