by Brian Mahany
As fraud recovery lawyers, we follow trends and news of Ponzi schemes and frauds pretty closely. Lately criminals seem to stay one step ahead of the good guys, or so its seems. While few crimes are as large as Bernie Madoff, Alan Stanford and this week’s billion dollar fraud – Kweku Adoboli at UBS – thousands of people lose money to fraudsters everyday.
When I started in this business, reports of major fraud were still pretty rare. There were weeks when we struggled to find something to write about. No more.
Here are today’s headlines (yes, a one day snapshot):
“Two Plead Guilty to $52 Million Ponzi Scheme”
“Colorado Ponzi Schemer Receives 5 Year Prison Sentence”
“The More You Look, the More Criminality You Find in Mortgage Land”
“5 Indicted in California Ponzi Scheme Case”
“Amish Bernie Madoff Charged in Massive Ponzi Scheme in Cleveland”
“More Fraud and Cover-Ups at BofA”
“Chicago Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Ponzi Scheme”
“New York Ponzi Schemer Receives 13 Year Prison Sentence”
It’s depressing and I have not even opened my Wall Street Journal yet.
Fraud appears to be occurring at record levels and with increasing sophistication. While even I was taken for a bit of money earlier this year in an investment scheme, in most instances there are plenty of warning signs and red flags. Once upon a time fraud lawyers were simply hired for asset recovery; we were hired after the money was gone. Now, increasingly we are being hired to help investors and other perform due diligence and vet investment opportunities before it’s too late.
A good asset recovery lawyer of course is going to concentrate in getting back your hard earned money. It’s usually easier and cheaper, however, to hire one before you invest. A few dollars now might save you lots of aggravation and money later.
In addition to help get back your money, a fraud lawyer can help you claim a fraud loss deduction with the IRS. These special deductions are anything but automatic unless the fraudster is indicted (and in most instances they are not charged.) Few accountants know and understand the fraud loss rules. We do. We helped write”the book” on these rules for CPA’s.
If you are the victim of fraud or want a second opinion before you invest, call us. All inquiries are completely confidential. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731 (direct) or by email at
Mahany & Ertl, LLC – America’s Tax & Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan & Portland, Maine. Services nationwide.