Roger Stanley Bliss, 57, pleaded guilty to charges relating to his attempt to hide a sailboat after he was accused of running a $25 million Ponzi scheme by representing that he was trading exclusively in the shares of Apple. Bliss is also facing charges that he operated an investment club that took in money from about 708 investors, promising returns of up to 300%.
Charles Wooden, 48, and Hendrickx Toussaint, 44, were sentenced to 7 years and 3 years 10 months in prison, respectively, for their $5 million real estate Ponzi scheme run through Aeon Capital Management LLC. They provided fake documents to investors to conceal that the money was not used to purchase real estate as promised and fake bank account statements to reflect that investors’ money was still in escrow.
An appellate court upheld a $72 million judgment against Huntington Bancshares Inc. in connection with the Cyberco Holdings Inc. Ponzi scheme. The ruling upheld a bankruptcy court decision that found that Huntington ignored signs of wrongdoing and continued to allow a related company to move money in its accounts. Meoli v. Huntington Nat’l Bank, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129909 (W.D. Mich. Sept. 28, 2015).
The bankruptcy trustee of Fair Finance Company, a company run by Tim Durham, announced his intention to make a first distribution to victims of the Ponzi scheme. The distribution will be $18 million, or about 8% - 9% of the losses in the case. Nearly $230 million of claims were submitted in the bankruptcy case. Durham is serving his 50 year prison sentence and his co-conspirators Jim Cochran and Rick Snow were sentenced to 25 years and 10 years, respectively.
3M, a multinational conglomerate ranked No. 101 on the Fortune 500 list, was denied its insurance claim seeking to recover funds in connection with its investment of its employee-benefit plan assets in the Ponzi scheme run by WG Trading Company. Even though 3M recovered all of its money invested through the receivership proceedings, it sought to be paid earning on those investments. A court ruled in favor of the insurance company, finding that 3M owned a limited partnership interest in WG Trading and that it did not own the earnings of WG Trading, so 3M’s insurers are not obligated to compensate 3M for a loss when it never possessed the earnings. 3M Co. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131197 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2015).