Securities Law & Ponzi Schemes
The Law Offices of Peter R. Bornstein has extensive experience with securities fraud and Ponzi schemes. Our trial attorney has represented investors to help them get their money back, and we have represented individuals accused by federal and state prosecutors of engaging in securities fraud and Ponzi schemes. Whichever side of the issue you may find yourself, the Law Offices of Peter R. Bornstein is prepared to protect your rights and interests.
Most investments are securities. Whenever one invests in a business, project or scheme to make money, a security is involved. Examples of securities are too numerous to list. The law makes it illegal to make a material false statement or to fail to reveal a material fact in the sale of a security. That is securities fraud, and it is a serious crime.
How can one tell if there is security fraud? The best rule of thumb is: If the investment is too good to be true, it probably is a fraudulent security.
A Ponzi scheme is a kind of securities fraud where the promoter or salesperson takes the investment money and misuses it for himself or herself. The name comes from the 1920s, when an Italian immigrant named Charles Ponzi told people that if they gave him their money today, he would give them back their money plus 50 percent in 90 days. It worked for awhile because more and more people gave him money. But eventually, the bubble burst and the last investors lost everything. Ponzi went to jail, but hundreds of people lost their life savings.
The way it works is that the returns to old investors come from the money of other new investors, not from the “investment.” This is exactly how Bernie Madoff operated. A Ponzi scheme is fraudulent and illegal.