Entries in Ponzi scheme (2)


Romney Camp Dismissive of Ponzi Accusations

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The Romney campaign Tuesday denied a published report that alleges the presidential candidate and his eldest son have business connections to three individuals who were once accused of being involved in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme.

The report by the liberal blog Think Progress claims that Tagg Romney helped create a financial firm named Solamere Advisors with three executives from the Stanford Financial Group, a company that was seized by the U.S. government in 2009 after the Securities and Exchange Commission accused it of being “a massive Ponzi scheme.”

Tagg Romney told Think Progress that his partners -- Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips -- have been cleared of charges.

Think Progress, however, claims that those charges are still being adjudicated.

Solamere Advisors, according to the piece, is a subsidiary of Solamere Capital, which was founded by Tagg Romney and was invested in by his father as well as the Romney campaign’s National Fundraising Chair Spencer Zwick, who now serves as a managing partner at the firm.

A Romney campaign spokeswoman was dismissive of the article.

“It’s not surprising that a left-wing blog with a highly partisan agenda would publish false material as it relates to Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney has no ties to the Stanford Financial Group or any of its activities,” said campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

Tagg Romney spoke to Think Progress earlier this month in Las Vegas and said that he had been aware of the accusations against his partners.

“Before we invested in them, they were in that. But they were cleared of that before we made our investment,” Tagg Romney said.

Tagg was also asked about any profits his business partners may have made in the scheme, to which he told ThinkProgress: “They probably made, their pay there was like $15,000 total. Those guys got totally screwed by the whole thing. It almost ended their whole careers because they moved all their clients over [to the Stanford Financial Group], and then the place was shut down two months after they moved their clients over. They hadn’t made any money yet. They had bonuses and everything promised to them, but they didn’t make any of their money. So they made no money.”

But according to Think Progress, Tagg Romney’s account isn’t entirely accurate: “According to documents reviewed by ThinkProgess using the Pacer search engine, charges against Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips have not been dropped. A recent court filing shows May requesting the court for arbitration instead of going to trial. ThinkProgress also spoke to the deputy clerk for the federal District Court in Dallas, and confirmed that the three men are still defendants in the lawsuit to recover the Ponzi scheme money.”

ThinkProgress also alleges, citing a court-appointed audit of the Stanford Financial Group, that the three partners also profited far more than Tagg Romney suggested.

Solamere Capital issued the following statement later Tuesday:

“It is inaccurate to suggest that Solamere Capital made an investment in this firm. Solamere Capital was approached to invest in a new wealth management firm being launched by these three individuals. After extensive due diligence, Solamere Capital decided not to invest because the business was at an early stage and did not meet our investment criteria.

“However, Spencer Zwick, Tagg Romney and Eric Scheuermann each own a minority stake in the business as individual investors.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mayor Bloomberg on Bernie Madoff: 'He Was a Nice Guy Back Then'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) --On Good Morning America Wednesday, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg dished on his old trading buddy -- Bernie Madoff -- who just gave his first interview since beginning his 150 year prison sentence for fraud.

“I knew the guy casually 30 years, 20 years ago. The SEC put together some studies of the marketplace and I was with Saloman Brothers and Goldman Sachs was there and Bernie Madoff was there…he was a nice guy back then. I haven’t heard his name in 20 years. I mean, all of a sudden I woke up one morning and it was the fraud and I looked at the picture and I remembered,” Bloomberg says.

Madoff told The New York Times that the big banks and hedge funds he was working with “had to know” about his ponzi scheme.

“I don’t know who knew what. What I do know is Bernie did it. Bernie destroyed an awful lot of human beings, his own family. It’s tragic,” he said.

So if the mayor -- who is a well-known investor -- was getting those types of high returns would he have suspected anything?

“Anybody that thinks they can beat the market long term by an awful lot is just being unrealistic. But I think the lesson is the lesson that your mother told you and my mother told me a long time ago, don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Bloomberg said.

“Diversity makes some sense and they should have done that,” he explained.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio