A red flag should go up with there has been unauthorized trades, missing funds or other issues on your account statements. True, this could be the result of a genuine error; however, it could also indicate the occurrence of fraud. Be sure to keep a close eye on your account statements in order to make sure it is consistent and is in alignment with your instructions.
Also, be sure to know exactly who is in charge of your assets. Note if the investment advisor is working as the custodian as well, which would make it easier for fraudulent actions to be commissioned. Confirm that your investment is being held with a reputable financial institution and that your money is, in fact, being held by them. Furthermore, verify that all of your accounts with the firm list your name and a specific account number.
Give a long look to the account statements being provided to you by the salesperson. It is to your benefit to be supplied with statements from the brokerage firm, third-party custodian or mutual fund company as well. The statements you receive from your promoter will offer some clarification on your investments, but should never be relied upon as the sole source for performance and trading information.
The tips in this article will greatly improve your chances of detecting and avoiding Ponzi scheme pitfalls. Truly take the time to research the investment transaction opportunity being offered and the individuals promoting them. Make sure that your funds are in good hands and be wary of anything that sounds too good. Protect yourself and your pocket from poisonous Ponzi promoters.
Gary Opper, CPA is the Managing Member of Levie-Opper, LLC, Weston, Florida. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Florida Institute of CPAs. He has written over 500 published articles in over 20 magazines. Mr. Opper has been the National Association of Mortgage Broker’s “Writer of the Year” and “Featured Writer of the Year.” He has spoken to many groups including the Florida Bar Association, the Florida Institute of CPAs, the Mortgage Bankers Association and Northern Trust Bank. He has lectured at four colleges including University of Florida and Florida International University. Opper has an Accounting degree from UF and a Master of Science in Taxation from FIU. Opper is Past President of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals - Miami Chapter and the FICPA - Gold Coast Chapter. Levie-Opper, LLC focuses on forensic accounting and fraud auditing. They handle state and federal cases including civil, commercial and criminal. Mr. Opper is available to speak to your group. He may be reached at (954) 384-4557, fax: (954) 384-5483, or e mail: Gary@Levie-Opper.com.
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