Ponzi schemes

Jury Finds Craig Carton Guilty Of Being Smarter Than Anyone Thought

To anyone who listened to the man on the radio, the idea that Craig Carton would be capable of committing securities and wire fraud was inconceivable. A person who’d probably screw up a between-innings three-legged-race at a minor league baseball game guilty of conspiring to rip off loan sharks and a supposedly well-run hedge fund? Impossible. Even the man himself agreed: He’s far too stupid to have pulled something like that off. Much more likely that he was the unwitting pawn of veterans of more erudite ticket-scalping Ponzi schemes. Well, a Manhattan jury has considered the evidence and decided that it’s not impossible at all. Congratulations to Craig Carton for proving himself smarter than anyone who’s heard him talk could possibly imagine. And also for the fact that sentencing guideli...

Maybe Don’t Pick Your Hedge Fund Manager Based On His Ability To Get You Invited To Elton John’s Oscars Party

By Ernst Vikne [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons During his career as a hedge fund manager, Raymond Montoya told his clients many things: That he managed $4 billion. That he was investing all their money in stocks and bonds, and making them a killing while doing so. That he definitely wasn’t running a Ponzi scheme. Oh, and that he could get you into Elton John’s blowout Academy Awards party. Only one of these things was true. Montoya may have lured in investors by getting them invitations to exclusive parties attended by big names, including the glamorous Elton John Academy Awards party two years ago. Cathy Roth, an accountant, was invited and remembered the thrill of riding in a limo to the fete. She said being seated next to Hollywood royalty was intoxicating. And came with a hell o...

Slacker SEC: Don’t Trip About Lower Fines Or Whatever

(Getty Images) We know that the SEC doesn’t feel much like doing anything these days. Now, we have the numbers to back it up. Enforcement fines fell to five-year low its last fiscal year, and the new regime’s pretty sure this year’s numbers will be even lower, once they get back from the beach and around to calculating them. And they can hear you not-so-silently judging them. But, like, amount of fine money collected as the sole arbiter of effective enforcement is just so narrow and constraining a way to look at things. Jay Clayton & co. aren’t bound by your rigid, inside-the-box ways of thinking, man. Also, it’s totally not their fault because the courts ate their homework and, like, other stuff. So lay off, man, and enjoy this Indian summer, which the folks at the SEC really hope str...