The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of North Carolina put almost a dozen ponzi scheme masterminds behind bars. Keith Franklin Simmons, the head of the scheme, was sentenced to 40 years in prison late last year, and recently, Jonathan D. Davey, another fraudster was sentenced to more than 21 years. Almost $40 million was taken from investors in the fraud.
Simmons began the fraud in 2007 when he formed “Black Diamond,” and touted it as a legitimate hedge fund involved in foreign currency trading. He told investors Black Diamond had safeguards in place, was independently audited, and had consistent high rates of return. None of this was true. He also recruited individuals to serve as regional managers of the hedge fund, and stole money from these individuals. Many of them sold annuity products to the elderly. They were promised financial compensation for selling Black Diamond and for bringing on new investors in the scam. None of the money was actually invested.
Davey, a certified public accountant and investment manager in Ohio, oversaw the various hedge fund managers. He controlled the funds for the scheme and posted on a website that claimed false returns. All of the accounts totaled one million, when the website claimed that it was over $120 million. Davey and Simmons both spent the money on personal items and lavish luxuries. By December 2009, the FBI placed Simmons in custody. If you invested money with either man or with Black Diamond, you may be able to recover your investment losses. Please call our Chicago-based securities law firm at 312–332–4200 to speak to one of our securities attorneys.
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