Although Bernie Madoff is responsible for running one of the most well-known investment scams of its kind, “Ponzi schemes” (as they are commonly called) are known to many victimized investors in financial scams both large and small. Typically, a financial manager operating such a scheme promises investors high returns on their investments with little or no risk as long as the investors trust the scammer to manage the investment funds at his/her own discretion. The investors receive payments on their investments early on, and everything appears to be as great as promised . . . until things suddenly stop. What actually happens in Ponzi schemes is that the scammers take investment funds from new investors, keep a large portion for themselves, and distribute to older investors enough money to keep those older investors believing that what they are receiving are legitimate returns on their investments. Those disbursements are not legitimately-managed returns, though; they are simply re-distributions of new investor funds. Ultimately, as new investors stop entering the scheme, the pool of funds to distribute to older investors dries up; and the Ponzi scheme collapses under its own top-heavy weight.
Ponzi schemes are oftentimes hard to identify until many of the investors who have been ensnared in such a scam have suffered significant financial harm. Some of the common telltale signs of a Ponzi scheme are:
- Promises of unusually high returns with little or no risk
- Oddly consistent investment returns
- Investment paperwork with illogical factual inconsistencies
- Investment managers who can rarely be contacted and who do not timely respond to investor inquiries
- Requirements that investment returns be re-invested rather than released to the investor
- Scheduled payments that suddenly stop coming to the investor
By recognizing those signs and by stopping harm before it becomes irreversible, an investor can protect against the sad misfortune that has befallen so many Ponzi scheme victims. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping Ponzi scheme victims stem the tide of their losses and fight to get back for those investors many of the funds that were wrongfully taken from them.
We are currently investigating several investment firms, hedge funds, and financial professionals suspected or known to have abused investors’ trust by operating Ponzi schemes. If you fear you are such a victim, we want to help you recover your losses. We do nearly all of our work on a pure contingency-fee basis; if we recover nothing for you in such a case, you pay us nothing for our services. All it takes is a phone call or an e-mail from you to start the process.