THE SEC HAS ANNOUNCED AN INVESTIGATION OF EQUITY TRUST COMPANY, A PURPORTED SELF-DIRECTED IRA CUSTODIAN. HERE IS A LINK TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SEC: http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20150616/NEWS/150619845/u-s-securities-and-exchange-commission-pursues-charges-against The Lerman Law Firm is co-counsel in a class action suit involving hundreds of Equity Trust customers who were the victims of multi-million dollar Ponzi schemes, including that of now-convicted felon Ephren Taylor. The Lerman Law Firm applauds the SEC's actions and looks forward to the responsible persons within Equity Trust being brought to justice for aiding and abetting Ponzi schemes and fraudulent investment schemes. This is a great day for our victims.
Equity Trust Ohio final filed complaint. The link above is to a case that has been filed in Ohio against Equity Trust Company, Equity Administrative Services, and their owners, Richard Desich, Sr., Jeffrey Desich, arising out of Taylor's Ponzi schemes and their facilitation of same through Equity Trust Self-Directed IRAs. Our legal team is blessed to have Spangenberg, Shibley and Liber, LLP and the law firm of Snyder Dorenfeld as part of the legal team. Attorneys Stuart Scott, Nick DiCello and Dan Frech are appearing on behalf of the Spangenberg firm based in Cleveland, Ohio and David Dorenfeld and Mike Brown are appearing on behalf of the Snyder Dorenfeld Firm from Los Angeles, California. As you know, Taylor in 2008 started using Equity Trust exclusively for investments through Self-directed IRAs until Equity Trust quit taking new clients from him. That case is still at the pleading stage. I am posting the complaint today so that all of you can read it. It is quite interesting.
The second class action suit is pending in California. The Snyder Dorenfeld firm, attorneys David Dorenfeld and Mike Brown, in Los Angeles are working with my firm on the case on appeal in California. That case is against the Entrust Group and their facilitation of Taylor's Ponzi Schemes through their Self-Directed IRAs. The case has been fully briefed and we are waiting to see if the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will be granting Oral Argument.
I want to express the appreciation of our legal team for everyone who has come forward with information to assist us with these cases. Cathy Lerman remains available to speak with potential witnesses and others wanting to assist the victims of these Ponzi schemes. Please email Ms. Lerman at email@example.com to arrange a call. Thank you.
As you read this, there are thousands of people across the U.S. who have invested in fraudulent schemes through self-directed IRAS ("SDIRAS") and don't know it. Yep, I said they don't know it. The reason these defrauded investors don't know they are victims is because everytime they go online and view their SDIRA account statements or they receive a copy of their SDIRA account statement in the mail-its says that their SDIRA has either increased in value or has maintained its value since the last SDIRA account statement! So these self-directed IRA investors, who are besmitten with short-lived investment euphoria, blissfully view their SDIRA account value. These SDIRA investors, who don't know yet that they are victims of investment fraud, feel sorry for all of those poor schmucks who weren't smart enough to put their money in a SDIRA so that they could invest in such highly sought after investments such as unsecured promissory notes, shell companies, illegally issued stock, nonexistent precious metals, insolvent businesses, and, my personal favorite, nonexistent real estate.
I have talked to people from all over this country who have invested in all of these "illusive" investment schemes through Fraud Promoters utilizing SDIRAS to perpetuate their schemes. Yet these SDIRA investment fraud victims keep asking me the same question-how is it possible for the Fraudsters to get away with this? My simple answer-because they can and they know it. No state or federal regulatory agency monitors, regulates or even notices the investments made in SDIRAs so it is really the Wild Wild West of Investment Tools.
It is no wonder Ponzi schemers love SDIRAS-there are not any other options to steal the retirement monies of senior citizens and other targets except through a SDIRA because regular IRAS are regulated, monitored and have strict investment guidelines for the types of investments that are permitted. Oh and did I mention that broker/dealers are required to have insurance and there are other financial protections for those investors against fraudulent losses?However, with SDIRAs the Fraudster/Cowboys are limited only by their creativity as to what they can sell as a SDIRA "investment."
If you are a SDIRA owner, run-don't walk to your phone. Call your SDIRA Custodian and ask them to tell you what the current value of your SDIRA is. Then ask your SDIRA Custodian how they know your SDIRA has that value and what information that value is derived from.
You will be shocked at the answer from your SDIRA Custodian particularly in light of the amount of Custodial fees you pay. Do you have any idea exactly what your SDIRA Custodian does to earn their very expensive fees? Well, we don't either. But we do know that the SDIRA Custodian's fees are based upon the stated value of your SDIRA.
So, wait, that means that the SDIRA Custodian receives less fees if the SDIRA account value declines. Are you starting to see the real picture here? Exactly-the interests of the SDIRA Custodian are actually aligned with that of the Ponzi Schemers and Fraud Promoters. As long as the SDIRA owner who has been swindled doesn't know their real SDIRA account value (which is $0), the Fraudster can continue soliciting new investors and stealing more money and the SDIRA Custodian can continue to collect their hefty fees. As I have said before- SDIRA Custodians and Fraud Promoters have a Marriage Made in Hell.
BEWARE-SDIRAS ARE USED TO PROMOTE PONZI SCHEMES AND ARE ROUTINELY USED BY FRAUD PROMOTERS TO STEAL THEIR TARGETS' MONIES. DON'T BE A VICTIM-THERE ARE TOO MANY ALREADY!
I just wanted to publicly acknowledge all of the people who have come forward since we filed the two class action suits in California last week. As you know, one suit was directed specifically at Self-Directed IRA Custodians and the other targeted the Ephren Taylor Ponzi Scheme. Many of you have provided helpful infomation as well as your support in these law suits. I just wanted to say thank you and please continue to reach out to me if you have information that would be helpful to pursuit of either one of these cases. The victims/plaintiffs of these two cases deserve justice and we will to continue to press towards that goal. Again, our heartfelt thanks for your assistance and support!