David Kirkpatrick

March 30, 2009

BofA in on Ponzi action

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:22 pm

Not sure if this is opportunism or something serious. Seems the New York legal system really has is out for Wall Street and the financial sector right now.

From the link:

Bank of America effectively set up a branch in a Long Island office that helped Nicholas Cosmo carry out a $380 million Ponzi scheme, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court.

The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn late Thursday, contends that Bank of America ”established, equipped and staffed” a branch office in the headquarters of Mr. Cosmo’s firm, Agape Merchant Advance. As a result, the lawsuit contends that the bank knowingly ”assisted, facilitated and furthered” Mr. Cosmo’s fraudulent scheme.


”Bank of America was at the epicenter of this scheme,” said the lawsuit, which seeks $400 million in damages from the bank and other defendants. ”Without Bank of America’s participation, the scheme would not have succeeded and grown to such an enormous size.”

February 6, 2009

The full list of Madoff victims

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:40 pm

Here’s the entire list of victims in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. It’s a PDF, it contains 162 pages of names and the print is tiny.


Upate 2/7/09 — Er, I forgot to post the link to the list and this page has been taking some traffic. So sorry — here’s the link to the PDF.

January 8, 2009

10 financial frauds

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:15 pm

Interesting article, and yes, Enron comes in at number two.

From the link, here’s the mother of all financial fraud:

1. Charles Ponzi was one of the biggest swindlers in US history, and gave his name to the Ponzi “pyramid” scheme allegedly used by Bernard Madoff on Wall Street. Orchestrated after the First World War, Ponzi’s fraud centred on “international postal reply coupons”, designed to allow mail to be sent internationally. By acquiring these coupons abroad and exchanging them for higher value postage stamps in the US (essentially a form of arbitrage), Ponzi was able to make around a 400 per cent profit. Though this was not illegal, Ponzi advertised for investors to his scheme, promising them fantastic returns. He paid handsome windfalls to a handful of investors, which brought people flocking to his newly-formed Securities Exchange Company [SEC]. People mortgaged their homes and poured their savings into the company, which was accumulating colossal liabilities. Existing investors were paid off with the money of new investors. At the peak of his fraudulent scheme in 1920, Ponzi was making around $250,000 per day, an enormous sum for the time. The authorities slowly came to realise that, in order to cover all the investments made in the SEC, there would have to be 160,000,000 postal coupons in circulation. There were in reality only 27,000. Ponzi was indicted on 86 counts of mail fraud and sentenced to five years in prison in 1920.

I chose this one because Ponzi and Ponzi Schemes are all over the news in regards to the Madoff business.  Figured anyone who wasn’t familiar with the details would enjoy the history.