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Old 05-02-2019, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
5,549 posts, read 8,892,941 times
Reputation: 11061

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMMom View Post
But there's no way for us to determine this since he won't respond to any communication. I don't think he's going to admit to my dad that he was running a Ponzi scheme. So who can figure that out and how?
Is there anything in the documentation the guy provided (progress reports/K1) that mentions a brokerage? You may be able to contact the broker and determine if this guy has an account and if it has been actively traded.They probably won't be too willing to discuss an account until you explain the circumstances.

The problem is if the guy refuses to communicate there is little you can do until you get a lawyer involved. Maybe I was wrong in saying this isn't a police matter. Perhaps your father can call the police fraud division (if they have one) and talk it over with a detective. Maybe a visit from the police will motivate the guy to communicate with your Dad.

Does this guy and your father have the same circle of friends? Can your father contact some common friends and see if they had "invested" with the guy? If you determine he has more than 15 "investors" and he was trading FX futures you could contact the https://www.cftc.gov/ and file a complaint.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
1,993 posts, read 4,761,705 times
Reputation: 2241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
Is there anything in the documentation the guy provided (progress reports/K1) that mentions a brokerage? You may be able to contact the broker and determine if this guy has an account and if it has been actively traded.They probably won't be too willing to discuss an account until you explain the circumstances.

The problem is if the guy refuses to communicate there is little you can do until you get a lawyer involved. Maybe I was wrong in saying this isn't a police matter. Perhaps your father can call the police fraud division (if they have one) and talk it over with a detective. Maybe a visit from the police will motivate the guy to communicate with your Dad.

Does this guy and your father have the same circle of friends? Can your father contact some common friends and see if they had "invested" with the guy? If you determine he has more than 15 "investors" and he was trading FX futures you could contact the https://www.cftc.gov/ and file a complaint.
He does have some sort of signed agreement that gives him permission to trade on my dad's behalf, but I didn't see it myself (my husband did). They have a few fraternity brothers who are still around. I'll ask about that.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:03 AM
 
4,887 posts, read 1,222,844 times
Reputation: 3743
I don't know what the scope of this guy's scam was but I see this stuff being investigated by the FBI on American Greed all the time. Do you know if the guy was fleecing other people, too?
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:35 AM
 
641 posts, read 1,376,713 times
Reputation: 578
A lawyer is absolutely necessary unless this guy is a licensed broker. You mentioned that he owns a home, so there may be some assets to seize in a civil suit.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Riding a rock floating through space
1,857 posts, read 548,573 times
Reputation: 4711
Quote:
Originally Posted by MnMomma View Post
A lawyer is absolutely necessary unless this guy is a licensed broker. You mentioned that he owns a home, so there may be some assets to seize in a civil suit.
The father gave his money and permission for this guy to trade (another word for gamble) his money on (I presume) Forex. If the guy lost all the money because he sux at trading, the father has absolutely no recourse - this is the risk he took. If the guy still has his money but simply decided to keep it, it may be possible to find it and get a lawsuit against him, but no lawyer is going to do this for free, and it doesn't sound like the father has the money to throw good money after bad by hiring one. I can tell you it would take a lawyer a lot of work and a lot of luck to make that happen, and that's only if he decided to defraud the father by simply keeping the money by not trading, or actually not suffering losses of it.

The best chance the father has is taking matters into his own hands, if it were me I'd be pounding on his door day and night, and waiting outside in my car for him to leave even if that took sleeping in my car. It's possible this scumbag still has the money, and if confronted in person could be persuaded to give it back. If his story is he lost it I'd need to hear it from him, face to face, and I'd ask to see the record of all the trades that resulted in total loss - and if that's the case, the money is gone with no recourse.
And by the way, it's really easy to take a massive or even total loss with a single bad trade if it's done on margin.

Last edited by duke944; 05-02-2019 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,936 posts, read 2,469,694 times
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Call the cops to do a "wellness check" on the guy at his house. Simply say he's not been seen & not in touch as he had been regularly. Just that.
Heck, he could have offed himself!
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Riding a rock floating through space
1,857 posts, read 548,573 times
Reputation: 4711
Quote:
Originally Posted by joyeaux View Post
Call the cops to do a "wellness check" on the guy at his house. Simply say he's not been seen & not in touch as he had been regularly. Just that.
Heck, he could have offed himself!
Hadn't thought of that, excellent idea.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Western MA
1,594 posts, read 1,039,320 times
Reputation: 4116
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
Huh????? You go to a bank in the US if you want to trade dollars for Euros if you're going to Europe. This doesn't even make any sense.

Your mother had no say so in this? It's her money as well.

Why would anyone trade US dollars for Euros unless you're taking a trip to Europe or moving there?

The US dollar is and has been stronger than the Euro for quite awhile, example if you trade say $100 you get $70 or $80 Euros.

IDK that you can really do anything, nothing illegal was done.
It's called arbitrage, it's a form of commodity trading.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,654 posts, read 4,699,473 times
Reputation: 27978
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke944 View Post
The best chance the father has is taking matters into his own hands.
I was thinking that, too, except these people seem to be waiting for someone else to step in and clean up their mess, thus the repeated texts to their lawyer son-in-law. So I didn't even mention it, knowing it would fall on deaf ears.

Quote:
If it were me I'd be pounding on his door day and night, and waiting outside in my car for him to leave even if that took sleeping in my car.

First, ascertain there actually IS someone in the house. Borrow a thermal imaging camera, if possible. Fire departments have them to determine if there are people or pets inside a burning building.

Once it's determined the occupants are still there, I'd set up a volunteer crew to sit in a car outside the place around the clock and not be the least bit subtle about it. Make them feel some heat.

Quote:
It's possible this scumbag still has the money, and if confronted in person could be persuaded to give it back.

Maybe. I did this with an ex-friend who had some of my money and wasn't returning calls. I waited in my car outside his house as long as it took.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:13 AM
 
5,460 posts, read 2,298,642 times
Reputation: 16440
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMMom View Post
I'll make this very brief. My parents disclosed to me over the weekend that my father had done some "investing" with an old fraternity buddy. I don't fully understand it, but he gave money for the guy to do currency trading with (trading dollars for Euros and back). The guy gave him progress reports and even K-1's for 2018. For whatever reason, my Dad never asked for itemized accounting. He got suspicious last week and asked for his money back. The guy gave the old "I'll pay you Tuesday" excuse and then on Tuesday said he needed until Friday.

Now the guy has gone radio silent. My dad has been calling, texting, and even going by the guy's house and ringing the bell (his car is there, but no one comes to the door). This is the majority of my parents' retirement money and if it's gone, they are well and truly screwed.

Best advice on how to handle? They've already emailed/texted him "If you don't pay back X amount by Wednesday, we're calling the police." It's now Wednesday and still nothing.

The guy is an unlikely flight risk as he is 70+, owns a home, and has a wife. I don't see him picking up and fleeing to the Caribbean. But how to proceed next?

And, yes, I know my Dad was naive and foolish. He didn't ask the right questions and chose to trust his old buddy. His mistake. But dwelling on that won't help. They need best next steps. We cannot afford to support them financially as we have our own issues to deal with.

If you own a business and you have an employee embezzling from you, the last resort is to call the police. Because the minute you do, the IRS swoops in and takes the assets of the embezzler, considering it to be income for which they haven't received taxes. Yes, that's f'd up, but it happens. This is essentially the same thing.

I'm not a lawyer, but I know someone who had a situation similar to this. And the order of operations is extremely crucial. If he's providing bogus K1s, then he's committing tax fraud. But if your folks have him arrested as the first step, then it really makes it hard to achieve the prime objective of reclaiming their money. Because, in truth, if this guy is bilking your parents, then he's bilking other people as well. Once he is arrested, then all the guy's clients come for their money, and they'll have to get in line behind the IRS. So it's infinitely better for your parents to get their money back and THEN have him prosecuted.

So a boffo, ballcutter plaintiff attorney would be your best bet. By that I mean don't mean some nice, reputable attorney with whom this clown rubs elbows in the Sunday buffet line at the country club. I mean someone with a reputation for ruthlessness. Someone whose letterhead will strike fear into anyone with a brain. Someone who will essentially perform the legal equivalent of burning down the guy's house and shooting his dog. We're talking the Huns riding into the village. The guy is ripping off your parents. The time to be nice is done.

Why? Because your dad can't just sue for compensatory damages here. If he just sues for compensatory damages in order to be made whole, the settlement might be just enough to pay the legal bills. Instead, he needs to be suing for punitive damages. We're talking Wehrmacht storming France kind of shock and awe. The guy who bilked your dad likely has assets in the form of a house, a car, and other fungible items. Go after those, right up to and including his grandchildren's college funds. Seek to ruin the guy and I bet you this guy will come to heel in a hurry, settling out of court for the money very quickly he owes your dad, plus legal fees, and then some. At that point, this guy will do anything, up to selling his kids in an opium den, to keep his name out of the papers. Your dad might actually come out ahead. It's still a long shot, but it's really the only one your parents have.

Once the settlement check clears the bank, lower the boom before he steals from someone else. Your settlement might preclude prosecution but, hey, the IRS has an anonymous tip line. And they pay commission. Once your parents have their money, the money of other people isn't your problem, sad to say.

One other thing. Never do business with friends and family if you can possibly avoid it. You risk your money and your friendship at the same time.

Last edited by MinivanDriver; 05-02-2019 at 11:42 AM..
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