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New blog tracks Ponzi schemes across U.S.

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  • | 2:13 p.m. August 15, 2011
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Seems like there are blogs for everything these days, from immensely popular subjects to the thoroughly arcane.

But Tampa attorney Jordan Maglich was surprised to learn no one, far as he could tell, monitored Ponzi schemes nationwide. So Maglich, who focuses on securities and financial services litigation at Wiand Guerra King, launched his own Ponzi watch blog. He launched the website,, earlier this summer.

Maglich's firm, through lead attorney Burt Wiand, is the court-appointed receiver in the case of Arthur Nadel, a Sarasota financier who pleaded guilty to a $162 million Ponzi scheme last year. Maglich worked on that case, which is when the Ponzi tracker blog idea was born.

“It became apparent that these (scams) weren't random incidents in Florida,” Maglich tells Coffee Talk. “And there was no one out there tracking these.”

Maglich started his quest when he set up a Google news alert for Ponzi schemes, which are essentially fraudulent investments that pay back investors from other investor's funds, not profits. The scams are named after Charles Ponzi, who used the technique in the early 1920s.

Schemes quickly poured in, once Maglich began to look.

Scammers who use promissory notes to reach victims are prominent on the list, but Maglich says he sees so many, there's a different and new method every week. “It's exceedingly interesting to see how these people work,” says Maglich.

Some examples of Ponzi schemes nationwide the blog has tracked include:

• An Arkansas lawyer who pleaded guilty to a $47 million scam that was considered the largest financial fraud in state history. The scheme involved paperwork for false rural improvement bonds to several Arkansas banks, the site reports;

• A husband-and-wife team in Hawaii admitted to a scam that took investors for $4 million — a scam the husband coordinated while he served time in prison for a previous Ponzi scheme;

• A Delray Beach man pleaded guilty to a scheme that bilked investors out of $30 million through several precious metals firms he runs. Authorities say that case had at least 1,400 victims.

Maglich hopes the site will be a warning for potential investors to do their research, not just a news feed on the ways of the criminal mind. “If anything,” he says, “this will help people be more vigilant.”


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