Detectives Arrest Staten Island Man For Bilking Clients In Forex Scheme; Thomas Carson Ran .ORG Site; Allegedly Used Money For ‘Luxurious Lifestyle,’ Cigars, Treatment Of Varicose Veins

Detectives from the office of Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. have arrested a Staten Island man on charges of stealing $2.5 million from investment clients.

Separately, a New York newspaper is reporting that Thomas Carson used some of the money to pay for 30 separate treatments for varicose veins on his legs. Carson is being called a “mini-Madoff.”

Still smarting from the $65 billion Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, New Yorkers can be downright hostile to accused financial fraudsters. One reader of, the website of the Staten Island Advance, left a comment that inmates at New York’s famous Rikers Island prison facility were apt to be impressed by Carson’s cosmetically altered legs.

Donovan said Carson, 45, operated TDML Inc. and a .org website that bore the company’s name to defraud clients in a securities and forex scheme.

“[Carson], while not quite rising to the level of a Bernard Madoff, is alleged to have stolen $2.5 million from his investors, who also happened to be friends and social acquaintances,” Donovan said.

“Instead of making the agreed-to investments, the defendant is alleged to have used the funds to underwrite a luxurious lifestyle, including expensive cigars, cosmetic medical treatments, and trips to resorts in Las Vegas and the Caribbean islands,” he continued. “It is further alleged that he attempted to conceal this fraud and deceive his victims by manufacturing phony account statements with fictitious transactions and balances.”

Donovan’s Detective Investigators Squad arrested Carson yesterday. He was charged with felony counts of Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument. Carson was listed this morning as an inmate at Otis Bantum Correctional Center, one of 10 jails on Rikers Island.

Seven friends and social acquaintances gave Carson $4 million to invest, Donovan’s office said.

“The funds were to be invested into an account at a New Jersey-based foreign currency exchange trading firm,” Donovan’s office said. “Instead, the defendant is alleged to have diverted $2.5 million for his personal use, while investing $1 million in his own accounts at TDML and later returning $500,000 to his investors.”

The reaction of New Yorkers — and residents of many other cities — to financial fraudsters is in stark contrast to the reactions of members of a bizarre subculture that actually advocates for the legalization of Ponzi schemes.

Instead of applauding the U.S. Secret Service in August 2008 for halting the alleged AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme in Florida, some members of the ASD autosurfing enterprise directed forum catcalls at agents and prosecutors, calling them “Satan” and comparing them to the 9/11 terrorists who killed 3,000 people.

When the SEC acted against a $28 million Ponzi scheme known as Gold Quest International in May 2008, participants in the scheme reacted by attempting to sue the agency for $1.7 trillion.

If Richmond is convicted of the felony counts in New York, he potentially faces decades in prison.

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