The SEC has filed an enforcement action against Equity Trust Company, a self-directed IRA headquartered in Ohio, for facilitating the sale of securities/investments in certain Ponzi schemes.

Consumers/Investors who invested through Self-Directed IRAs in fraudulent investment schemes or Ponzi schemes are advised to file complaints with the SEC against the Self-Directed IRA Custodian if the Custodian facilitated the sale of the securities/investment, solicited the consumer to purchase the securities/investment, or recommended the purchase of the securities/investment.

Consumers should go to the SEC website at: https://www.sec.gov/complaint/tipscomplaint.shtml to file a complaint.


In a press release, Renuen Corporation (RENU) announced that they had ceased operations for their Energy Solutions Business or whatever they are calling it today.  The article can be found at: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/renuen-corporation-discontinues-energy-solutions-201500493.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=ma

According to Jeff Nemes (CEO) and Alexander Kim (Chief Legal Officer), the cause of the failure of the business was an online smear campaign against the company orchestrated by persons including yours truly.  While I would love to take credit for taking down another fraudster, sadly that is not the case here.

You see Nemes, Kim, and their cohorts are simply using the delusional "smear campaign" as an excuse to hide the failure of Renuen because of their own mismanagement (terminating the dealer program which is the only money making program they ever had)  and looting of company assets. Shareholders of Renuen need to request an SEC investigation and audit of Renuen assets because I believe a whole lot of cash went out the back door and into the pockets of the officers, directors and silent partners of Renuen which caused its failure. Perhaps the IRS should also be notified.

All Renuen shareholders should review Renuen's September 2014 10-Q, in which Renuen stated that it had sold 13% “of its future receivables to an unrelated third party allowing the company to continue operations” on September 11, 2014. The same 10-Q also stated that on September 29, 2014, Renuen had sold “6.53% of its future receivables to an unrelated third party allowing the company to continue operations."   According to their own publicly filed documents, Renuen was insolvent beginning in September of 2014, just 6 weeks after terminating its dealer program.  Enough Said.


For his hundreds of victims who lost their life savings, justice does not bring back the tens of millions of dollars that Ephren Taylor took from them in his prolific affinity fraud Ponzi scheme that targeted mainly African-American Christians.  The son of a preacher utilized his religious upbringing and training to con hundreds of the faithful by using their own religion to swindle them. Since July of 2011, I have worked with hundreds of victims, law enforcement, the Secret Service, the FBI, the SEC, the Department of Justice, the IRS and state and local law enforcement to bring Taylor to justice.  The fine men and women in these agencies deserve the deepest gratitude of Taylor's victims for their tireless efforts on behalf of his victims.  It has been my privilege to be a part of this.  It has also been a blessing to get to know and become close friends with many of his victims.  These are wonderful Christian people whose lives were devastated by Taylor's evil deeds.

And now my dear friends, God has answered our prayers.  This chapter of our lives closes but there is still much work to be done.  There are thousands of Ephren Taylor wannabees all over the country who are bilking innocent victims right now.

But as we press on after those who facilitated Ephren's crimes, let us not forget our mantra:


God Bless You All!  Cathy


United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates Northern District of Georgia








Ephren Taylor, II, Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Fraud


ATLANTA - Ephren Taylor, II, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud by defrauding hundreds of victims of their retirement savings.


“Taylor’s guilty plea brings a measure of justice for the hundreds of his victims, including those hard-working Georgians who lost their life savings to his criminal scheme,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.


“Mr. Taylor exploited numerous investors by perpetrating a scheme that was based entirely on lies,” stated Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Mr. Taylor’s guilty plea today is an opportunity for him to admit to the deception and face the consequences of his actions.”


“The United States Secret Service is aggressive in our investigative mission to arrest those who commit financial crimes.  In this case, we were particularly resolved to bring to justice a criminal who chose to take advantage of unsuspecting members of the public in environments of reverence and trust,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.


According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From at least April 2009 through October 2010, Ephren Taylor, II, then CEO of City Capital Corporation, and his co-defendant Wendy Connor, the former COO of City Capital Corporation, participated in a conspiracy to defraud investors.  In pleading guilty, Taylor acknowledged that he defrauded hundreds of investors of more than $7 million nationwide.  In a separate hearing, co-defendant Wendy Connor also pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of money taken by fraud.

As part of the scheme, Taylor traveled around the country on a “Building Wealth Tour,” where he gave wealth management seminars to church congregations.  During this tour, Taylor claimed to be a socially conscious investor and falsely claimed that 20% of profits were donated to charity.  One of the churches on the “Building Wealth Tour” was the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga.  While there, Taylor and Connor met potential investors to discuss possible investments.  Over 80 individuals from Georgia lost more than $2 million because of Taylor’s scheme.

The investments pushed by Taylor included investing in promissory notes, where the funds invested would be used to support small businesses, such as laundries, juice bars, and gas stations.  Taylor falsely represented the revenues and returns for these businesses knowing that they were not profitable.

Taylor also pushed an investment in sweepstakes machines.  Sweepstakes machines are computers loaded with various games that allow players to win cash prizes.  Taylor published offering materials that falsely claimed the average sweepstakes machine would generate 300% investor returns.  He also stated that the sweepstakes machine investments were 100% risk free.

Taylor knew that the investments he was touting were not profitable and that investors were not receiving actual returns from their investments.


The sentencing for Ephren Taylor, 32, of Overland Park, Kan., is scheduled for December 18, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.  Wendy Connor, 45, of  Raleigh, N.C., is scheduled to be sentenced on December 18, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.


This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the United States Secret Service.


Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Huber is prosecuting the case.


For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

Lerman Law Firm Applauds WPTV Consumer Watchdog Jenn Strathman's Warning on Home Improvement Contracts

Cathy Lerman, principal of the Lerman Law Firm, has issued  a press release praising the work of Jenn Strathman, WPTV Consumer Watchdog, for her two part series on home improvement contracts and tips on what the consumer should be watchful for when signing these contracts.  Jenn used as an example, RENUEN (RENU) a solar contractor with many complaints who had contracted with two elderly women that Jenn interviewed.  Neither of the Renuen systems worked as promised, they were not permitted and these elderly women  did not receive the promised rebates-until they appeared on WPTV and then the company CEO, Jeffrey Nemes,  offered to pay part or all of them through RENUEN! Let this be a lesson to the consumer, particularly our senior consumers, DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT A LAWYER REVIEWING IT!  There are too many fraudsters in south Florida that prey on the elderly.   Senior citizens must stay vigilant and have an attorney review any contract they are signing that involves significant rights-like the right of Renuen to lien their home!  This is a CONSUMER ALERT THAT EVERYONE SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO.

The link to our Press Release on Jenn's two part series is below: