KABOOM! Web-Based Ponzi Pitchman For Legisi Hit With Judgments Totaling More Than $2.5 Million; Receiver Hires Law Firm To Collect Against Matthew J. Gagnon; Scheme Was Promoted On TalkGold, MoneyMakerGroup, Among Others

Matthew J. Gagnon, an alleged web-based pitchman of Ponzi schemes and Forex frauds, has been hit with judgments totaling more than $2.5 million by the receiver in the Legisi Ponzi and fraud case. Gagnon also was charged separately by the SEC.

A web-based pitchman for the alleged Legisi Ponzi scheme has been hit with separate court judgments of $1.69 million and $810,000. Meanwhile, the court-appointed receiver in the Legisi case has hired local counsel in Oregon to pursue the judgments against Matthew J. Gagnon and Mazu Publishing Inc.

Legisi was alleged by the SEC in 2008 to have operated an international Ponzi and fraud scheme that gathered about $72 million from more than 3,000 investors. The scam was promoted on TalkGold, MoneyMakerGroup and other websites, including Gagnon’s Mazu.com.

MoneyMakerGroup’s name is referenced in federal court filings in the Legisi case — and records show that shills on TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup sought to sanitize the scheme even as the U.S. Secret Service and the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation were using undercover agents to gather evidence about the fraud.

The judgments against Gagnon and Mazu illustrate the legal and financial nightmares to which forums such as TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup contribute. Meanwhile, the fact that Legisi was promoted at the forums even as it was under investigation exposes a myth advanced on such forums that investors would know in advance that a government probe of an “opportunity” was under way.

In this evidence exhibit given to a federal judge prior to the Legisi asset freeze, a Legisi prospect writes the name "Money Maker Group.com" in longhand. The prospect also wrote the name "Matt Gagnon" in longhand and a telephone number for Gagnon.

At the same time, the judgments against Gagnon destroy the myths that online promoters of securities schemes have no legal exposure and that offers positioned as “private”  insulate promoters from prosecution.

Indeed, the judgments against Gagnon resulted from litigation brought by Robert D. Gordon, the court-appointed receiver in the Legisi case, in October 2009. The SEC sued Gagnon in May 2010, seven months after Gordon brought his actions.

Among the SEC’s allegations against Gagnon was that he continued to promote fraud schemes online — even after the Legisi scheme was exposed.

“Gagnon has been unrelenting in his efforts to raise money from the public through fraudulent, unregistered offerings,” the SEC said in May 2010. “He remains a danger to the investing public.”

Despite his sales pitches, “Gagnon has never been associated with a registered broker-dealer and has never been registered with the Commission as a broker or dealer or in any other capacity,” the SEC said.

After the Legisi HYIP fraud, Gagnon transitioned to pushing Forex frauds, the SEC said.

Gagnon was hit with an asset freeze after the SEC brought its action.

Records show that Legisi was among a number of “opportunities” that used E-Bullion, which was operated by James Fayed.

A jury in Los Angeles last week recommended the death penalty for Fayed for arranging the slaying of his estranged wife, Pamela Fayed.

Federal prosecutors said in December that AdSurfDaily, yet another alleged Ponzi scheme, had an E-Bullion tie. Records show that Gold Quest International, still another Ponzi scheme, also used E-Bullion.

 

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8 Responses to “KABOOM! Web-Based Ponzi Pitchman For Legisi Hit With Judgments Totaling More Than $2.5 Million; Receiver Hires Law Firm To Collect Against Matthew J. Gagnon; Scheme Was Promoted On TalkGold, MoneyMakerGroup, Among Others”

  1. Patrick, you missed one thing – Legisi also used e-gold. In fact they had one of the largest e-gold accounts.
    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2007cv01346/126695/
    $1.7M forfeited.

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  2. Tony H: Legisi also used e-gold.

    Good point, Tony.

    Patrick

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  3. I wouldn’t mind betting that Mr Gagnon has his fingers and toes crossed hoping the investigators decide not to investigate his past involvement with similar HYIP ponzi frauds and/or the statute of limitations has expired on them.

    No doubt there are many victims of Gagnons’ and Mazu Publishings’ previous efforts who would be only too glad to testify as to his history.

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  4. Ken Russo?

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  5. Karma is truly something. Too late for the HYIP investors, but it is good to see that they are continuing to unravel this mess.

    Will we see criminal charges for Gagnon, McKnight, Sczepanski (aka Picard) and others? WE WILL SEE!!!

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  6. Glad to see you’re still out there beating the bushes LittleRoundMan.

    littleroundman: I wouldn’t mind betting that Mr Gagnon has his fingers and toes crossed hoping the investigators decide not to investigate his past involvement with similar HYIP ponzi frauds and/or the statute of limitations has expired on them.No doubt there are many victims of Gagnons’ and Mazu Publishings’ previous efforts who would be only too glad to testify as to his history.

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  7. morpheus824: Glad to see you’re still out there beating the bushes LittleRoundMan.

    I’ve always looked upon it more as “looking under rocks”

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