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Is Art Nadel the Madoff of Florida? January 19, 2009

Posted by whitecollarcrimenews in News.
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As the economy continues to go down hill, white collar crimes will increase because desperate people will turn to fraud to make money while existing cases will get exposed.  A good example of the latter appears to  be Art Nadel, a Florida hedge fund manager with Scoop Management.

Although there are no charges, he is suspected of defrauding his investors out of $350 million.  Problem is, he went missing last week.   Although he left a suicide note, he called his wife from Louisiana.  Authorities are looking for but without a warrant, they can do little when they find him.

Although law enforcement states that no one else appears to be involved, his wife, who is a principal in the company, along with any other management figures need attorneys right now.  While I’m sure they have various business attorneys, they should get some good criminal defense attorneys that actually know how to represent real people.  As both a wife and business partner, Mrs. Nadel will be answering many, many questions.  How she handles those questions will not only help her stay out of trouble, but it will help her keep the money that she still has.

Article is here.

Michael Park, another alleged Ponzi scheme you probably won’t hear about December 19, 2008

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I’m getting tired of hearing about Bernard “Bernie” Madoff over and over again without hearing about all of the other scams out there.   First of all, the financial market is filled with scammers.  Just check your spam folder for “hot stock tips”, investment schemes from the ousted king of some African country, etc.   However, if you listen to the news, you’d think that Madoff invented the Ponzi scheme.  

While the dollar amount and scope is huge, the scheme itself is both old and common.  Just this week we had Jeffrey Southard in New Jersey arrested for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme but you probably heard nothing about that.  (see below).  While the reach of that story is not as broad as the Madoff scandal, we  are still talking about millions.

Yesterday, Michael J. Park from Brentwood, Tennessee was accused of allegedly defrauding dozens of investors out of about $9 million.  Specifically, he was charged with three counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.   Again, you probably won’t here much about this story as the news continues to pretend that Madoff is the only current Ponzi scheme around right now.

Click here for the story.

Jeffrey Southard arrested for being NJ’s version of Bernard Madoff December 18, 2008

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Talk about timing huh?  Jeffrey Southard of Pittsgrove, New Jersey arrested today for allegedly operating a ponzi scheme to that  (allegedly again) stole over $1.6 million from 16 elderly investors.  He is charged with first-degree money laundering, second-degree misapplication of entrusted property, second-degree theft by deception, and second-degree securities fraud.  Those are some very, very heavy charges.   (See why I don’t blog about national news like Madoff?  We have enough going on here in New Jersey).

Although I am sure he has no prior record, it will be tough for his attorneys to come up with some good mitigating factors.  The state money laundering charge does not merge and the first degree charge carries 10 to 20 years in prison.  Thus, at a minimum, he is looking at 15 years in prison.  However, there are several aggravating factors that will apply at sentencing if he is convicted.  Besides the usual ones that apply in every case, the State will allege that he took advantage of a position of trust and that the crime involves elderly victims.  That would be at least 4 aggravating factors right from the start.  So, a sentence closer to 20 years would be possible if found guilty of all counts.

On the other side, it will be tough to get these victims into court.  But since there are so many of them, it is likely they could get some of them to trial.  As an attorney, you can’t beat up an 80 year old person on the stand either. 

With any of these cases, the big upper hand the defense always has is that victims are out money.  If this guy goes to prison for a long time, he would have spent a ton of money on his defense and the victims stand to get little to nothing.  A good resolution would allow the victims to be made whole in exchange for a (much) lesser sentence.  It seems like he has been under investigation for some time, so hopefully his attorneys have been working hard for him.  They have a lot of work ahead of them.

Click here for the story.

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