BULLETIN: SEC: Purported ‘Trust’ Was $15 Million Prime-Bank Ponzi Swindle Operated By Two 70-Year-Olds; 1 Of The Accused Hucksters Has Prior Conviction For Trafficking Cocaine; Investors Were Told ‘Department Of Homeland Security’ Was A Customer And That The Devil Was Behind The Adage, ‘If It Sounds Too Good To Be True . . .”
EDITOR’S NOTE: They don’t come any weirder than prime-bank swindles — and this one is one of the strangest we’ve ever reported on.
The scheme allegedly operated in more than 20 states, but was concentrated in Georgia, the SEC said.
One of the accused allegedly claimed he first heard about the Trust in the 1990s from a man named “John” in London. The other allegedly claimed this adage — “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” — was the work of the devil.
Investors were told the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was a lending customer of the purported trust, a purported “loan” program that operated secretly in England and provided a return of 38 percent a year, the SEC said.
They also were told that the trust “was started after World War II and is comprised of several extremely wealthy European families,” that the trust “owns banks in Europe,” that the trust “has the power to create money through fractional banking and the sale of banking debentures” and “funds humanitarian projects around the world,” the SEC alleged in the complaint.
Charged in the alleged $15 million caper were Billy W. McClintock of Bradenton, Fla., and Dianne Alexander of Carlsbad, Calif. Alexander also is known as Linda Dianne Alexander and previously lived in Cumming, Ga. McClintock has claimed to be a gospel singer, was convicted of cocaine trafficking in 1989 and served prison time in Kentucky, the SEC said.
“McClintock and Alexander pitched an investment opportunity that simply did not exist,” said William P. Hicks, associate director of Enforcement in the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. “They merely reshuffled funds between investors in a modern take on a classic prime bank scheme.”
Some of the allegations against McClintock and Alexander are reminiscent of elements of the AdSurfDaily, Legisi and Zeek Rewards cases.
In the ASD, Legisi and Zeek cases, for instance, investors were told not to refer to the programs as “investment” programs, according to records.
Here is one of the allegations against McClintock and Alexander (italics added):
Apparently attempting to avoid scrutiny by federal securities enforcers, McClintock told Alexander not to refer to investor payments as an “investment,” but rather as a “loan,” and that she should never refer to those whose money she took as “investors,” but rather as “Trust lenders.”
Alexander recruited at least 220 people into the scam, which had “downline” investors, the SEC said.
“Alexander recklessly relied solely on McClintock’s representations about the profits to be generated by the Trust, without taking any independent steps to either verify the existence of the Trust or whether McClintock was in fact receiving payments from the Trust,” the SEC charged.
And Alexander issued appeals to religious faith to reel in investors, calling the adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” a “lie that came from the pit of hell,” and saying, “Put your money in the Trust and your trust in God,” the SEC charged.
Clarence Busby, a figure in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi story, was implicated by the SEC in three prime-bank swindles in the 1990s, according to records.
Read the SEC complaint.