NY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Unlimited Wealth Associates Pulled Off ‘Seemingly Limitless Fraud And Deceit’ In Ponzi And Pyramid Scheme That Operated Nationwide
A company known as Unlimited Wealth Associates operated Ponzi and pyramid schemes that obtained at least $7 million, New York’s top prosecutor said today.
â€œWhile this company promised unlimited wealth, our investigation found seemingly limitless fraud and deceit as they went after investorsâ€™ savings,â€ said Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.
Prosecutors “will continue to have zero tolerance for financial schemers trying to set up shop in New York,â€ Cuomo said.
Unlimited Wealth Associates is controlled by Robert Donald and Annette Stuart Donald, Robert Donald’s wife. Investigators obtained an asset freeze amid allegations that the Donalds were running a “series of get-rich-quick schemes” from their home in Brooklyn.
Company names under which the schemes operatedÂ included Unlimited Wealth Associates, United Wealth Associates, Unlimited Enterprises and Wealth Associates Group, prosecutors said.
Among the allegations were that the Donald-connected companies had been operating Ponzi and pyramid schemes since at least 2004 and violating a state securities law known as the “Martin Act.”
More than 1,000 investors across the United States were affected, prosecutors said.
When the schemes began to collapse, Robert Donald lied to keep investors at bay, prosecutors said.
Investigators determined that “Donald was covering up the fraudulent operation by informing investors that their investments have been lost or stolen by those with whom Donald purportedly invested the victimsâ€™ funds,” prosecutors said. “Donald told victims that he was raising new funds that would be invested so that both new and old investors would recover their principal and receive handsome profits.”
As part of the probe, prosecutors said, investigators obtained “emails, newsletters and Web site pages” showing the companies “routinely made false and misleading representations that investors could earn enormous profits on modest investments, with little or no risk involved.”
The website for Unlimited Wealth Associates now appears to be throwing a server error.
Prosecutors said the scheme included over-the-top hype. Investors in one program were told that $5,000 could turn into $1.2 million in 18 months.
Here is how investigators described the false claims:
- Investors in a so-called â€œWealth Unitsâ€ program were falsely informed that they would â€œearn 2% per business day, payable every 60 business days, for a total of 180 business days.â€
- Investors in an â€œInfinite Cycle of Wealthâ€ program were falsely informed that the program â€œprovides you with UNLIMITED INCOME FOR LIFE! You can receive thousands of dollars over and over again – to INFINITY!â€ and â€œWith a ONE TIME INVESTMENT contribution of $5,000 you can earn over $1.2 million, once you complete 7 phases which takes approximately eighteen months.â€
- Investors in a â€œCapital Growth Programâ€ were falsely informed that they could â€œreceive up to 100% return every monthâ€ and would â€œhave the opportunity to MAKE WELL OVER $500,000 for each $1000 that you deposit, within 15 months from the day the funds enter into trade.â€
- Investors in a â€œ40 Week Proposalâ€ were falsely informed that their expected return would be â€œ40 payments of UP TO 50% for each $1000 contribution. Thatâ€™s a total of $20,000 per $1000.â€
- Many of the representations falsely claimed that there was no risk involved in the investments. One such false statement promised â€œThe Unlimited Wealth Units is an ingenious RISK FREE way to LET YOUR MONEY WORK FOR YOU!â€ (emphasis in original).
The SEC and U.S. Postal Inspection Service assisted in the probe.