$500 Billion Social Media Scam

January 5th, 2012
in econ_news

snake-oilEconintersect:  Anthony Fields, a Lyons, Illinois investment advisor, has been charged by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) with offering more than $500 billion in bogus investments using LinkedIn and other social media web sites.  The offers and misrepresentations were made regarding fictitious “bank guarantees” and “medium-term notes,” according to Financial Advisor Magazine.  Fields was operating out of two sole proprietorships, Anthony Fields & Associates (AFA) and Platinum Securities Brokers.  The solicitations resulted in interest from multiple potential buyers.

Follow up:

From Financial Advisor Magazine:

The SEC also alleges Fields failed to maintain required books and records, did not implement adequate compliance policies and procedures, and held himself out to be a broker-dealer though he was not registered with the SEC. Fields last updated his ADV Form with the SEC in February 2005, according to the SEC Web site. He became licensed as a CPA in 1987 but failed to renew his license in 2006.

On March 15, 2010, Fields filed forms with the SEC in which he falsely represented that he had $400 million in assets under management. Additionally, Fields represented that he was managing assets for pooled fund vehicles, companies and high-net-worth individuals. However, AFA never had any assets under management or managed assets for pooled fund vehicles, corporations or high-net-worth individuals, the SEC says.

Perhaps the theory was that if the lie was big enough it would be more believable.  According to Robert B. Kaplan, co-chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Asset Management Unit:  "If you are going to make it up, make it big," (Financial Adviser)

The Financial Adviser article makes no mention that anyone ever invested in any of Fields’ bogus securities.

SourceFinancial Adviser

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