Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So many scams, so little time

Some hat-tips.

Roddy Boyd has been chasing a dodgy fund manager. Today he got his man: Bryan Caisse was arrested in Bogota Colombia. A lot of work went into that.

There is some satisfaction, albeit fleeting, in seeing fraudsters lose their liberty... 

Today Shawn Richard - the Astarra/Trio fraudster was released from prison. Shawn was the second person imprisoned following tip-offs from your correspondent. [Both original tips came from readers...] 

There is fine story - maybe too generous to the malefactors - on the Astarra/Trio scandal here

I pity the regulators. There are so many scams. So little time. And the satisfaction is so short-lived. The sadness of the people who have lost their life savings (as many Astarra/Trio victims did) is however long-lasting...




John

13 comments:

Greig P said...

Nice links John. Love how Ross Tarrant was portrayed as being unwittingly duped, yet: "he was banned from acting as a financial advisor – in part because he had also accepted, without disclosing them, more than $1 million in ‘marketing assistance’ payments from Trio Capital".
A cool million in kickbacks!! So a 4% fee (on the $25m alleged to have been invested). And this would have been on top of the disclosed commissions!! So that was not a red flag for naive young Ross, a qualified accountant to boot?

John Hempton said...

I did say that the article was maybe a little too generous.

Ross however would not have put so much client money in had he had an inkling of Shawn Richard's true nature.

It was low-level slime-bag (the marketing allowance) being exploited by high-level slime-bag [front for global organized crime].

Ross I think deserved his ban from the industry. [The court agreed.] However you can still feel a little sorry for him...

J

Dale said...

So this thief gets to leave the country now?? To start spending the capital that ASIC & AFP believe he still has as a result of this?

CrocodileChuck said...

Where is Jack Flader?

indievestments said...

Nice post John. I've been following the Herbalife story and came to a few of your posts. Are you still actively looking at these MLM special situations?

If so, I'd be curious your thoughts on Blyth Inc (BTH), the massive short interest and the potential for a management led buy out of the remaining public float or acquisition by CVSL?

www.m1kearnold.com
www.indievestments.com

John Connor said...

To the comment above I would say the NQ mobile show will be better to watch than HLF, albeit NuSkin in China has added a twist to the saga. With NQ I have wondered if the short exceeds the float and nobody recalls the stock they lent then I guess you could make a short pay a perpetual borrow fee? I would also imagine the call option market would dry up. So many good movies playing in the markets lately. Eventually the horror genre will return to favour.

Carl HT said...

Thanks for the links John - big fan of SIRF, in addition to being blown away by your work on this one!

Anonymous said...

One simple thing I can't understand from the article is whether poor old Tarant's personal losses of 500k are before or after 1m kickback?

Also, somewhat unsurprisingly, while there's some kind of mild sanction mentioned for WHK, no further words are said about internal compliance the way "KPMG, one of the world’s largest audit firms," which "was the fund’s internal compliance auditor" sees it.
Did they actually audited Richard's compliance to Flader?

Of course, government should recompense. Internal and external auditors, verifying false accounts and nonexistent compliance, are beyond reproach.

Regards,
Dmitry.

indievestments said...

To John Connor, thanks for the heads up. I've briefly looked at NQ after the revelation of Muddy Waters or one of those research shops called it a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Sadly this liar's legacy is not about lost money ... it's about ruined lives ...

Anonymous said...

"The sadness of the people who have lost their life savings (as many Astarra/Trio victims did) is however long-lasting..."

Apparently people are saying this same thing today - about Herbalife.

Absalon said...

One of the problems for the regulators is that frauds tend to exploit people who are alienated and who either mistrust or are hostile to government regulators. It seems almost a standard playbook for a fraudster to say "this opportunity is a clever way to get around the dead hand of regulators and it will help you avoid taxes so we have to keep it confidential"

Anonymous said...

John,

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the potential for shorts in the green energy market. (Australia and overseas but particularly Australia). I'm thinking wave power generation companies next generation solar, that kind of thing. Given that the previous government was handing out money like a drunken sailor to these types of companies and that we have just had a change of government that are now looking to cut costs, maybe some of these companies will find themselves without funding and no assets except pie in the sky ideas? I do know of one such company that would be a lay down misere for a short IF they ever decided to float, makes me think there might be more out there.

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The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Hempton. Mr. Hempton may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Hempton's recommendations. The commentary in this blog in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. In fact, it should not be relied upon in making investment decisions, ever. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.  In particular this blog is not directed for investment purposes at US Persons.