(1) Ponzi Cash Allegedly Paid For ‘Breast Augmentation’; (2) John Sposato Case Shows ‘Small’ Schemes On U.S. Radar; (3) What UFunClub/UToken Investors Can Learn

recommendedreading1A Louisiana man ripped off investors in a multifaceted Ponzi scheme and used some of the cash to buy a “new Chevrolet Camaro for one girlfriend and breast augmentation surgery [for] another girlfriend,” according to a bill of information filed against him.

John Sposato, 64, of Slidell, has been charged with wire fraud, the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite of the Eastern District of Louisiana said.

Much of the charging document describes typical Ponzi fare. When payments were delayed, for instance, Sposato allegedly blamed events on the weather, family illnesses and “issues with the international financial institutions in which the funds were supposedly invested.”

Perhaps hinting that prime-bank fraud was part of the swindle, the charging document references “international bank instruments.”

Sposato also made “lulling payments” from “new investor money” to keep the Ponzi alive and to dupe investors into believing the scheme was legitimate, according to the charging document.

In addition to the purported “international bank instruments,” Sposato also allegedly pushed supposedly “cutting edge oil remediation and recovery” and real-estate investments. The Sposato-linked companies referenced by prosecutors included Pegasus Investment & Development Corporation LLC; Pegasus Investments; Oil Eaters LLC; Organic Miracle Incorporation; S&J Corporate Properties LLC; Pegasus Demolition & Debris Removal Service LLC; and Pegasus Truck Lines Inc.

The investments were described as “never at risk,” according to the charging document.

As is the case in many schemes, Sposato’s investors allegedly were told “their principal investments were immune from market volatility and were secure from any losses.”

UFunClub/UToken, a scheme currently under investigation in Thailand and also operating in the United States, has made similar claims, according to promoters. There also are reports about problems with banks and delayed or absent payouts. At the same time, there are reports that sports cars have been seized by police and that the UFun/UToen probe has spread to Malaysia.

Read the Sposato charging document that alleges a Ponzi swindle of more than $811,000. Prosecutors said the scheme was “national” in scope , that 48 individuals in the United States invested with Sposato and that he “provided prospective investors false or fraudulent documents to make the investments appear legitimate and to conceal the true nature of the Ponzi scheme.”

Like the Achieve Community case filed by the SEC in February, the Sposato case demonstrates that even “small” Ponzi schemes are on the radar of U.S. law enforcement.

UFunClub/UToken, apt to have gathered a far greater sum than either Achieve or Sposato, may have affected tens of thousands of investors worldwide, including hundreds or more in the United States. As was the alleged case with Sposato, UFunClub/UToken may be operating through multiple companies.

 

 

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