This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Regulator Sees 'Pandemic of Ponzimonium'

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ponzi schemes are on the rise, according to Bart Chilton, commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

"Scam artists are ripping off Americans more than ever before," Chilton said in a speech at the New York Law School. He cited 32 cases tracked by the CFTC in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, calling the number "a new historic high."

CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton

According to Chilton, in fiscal years 2010 and 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed more than twice as many Ponzi cases as it filed in fiscal 2008 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened more than 1,000 new investigations on Ponzi schemes--a roughly 150% increase since 2008.

Chilton told his audience that "many of the fraudsters are preying upon people through the use of 'affinity fraud,' where they use personal contacts to swindle family, friends, coworkers or even fellow church parishioners."

Chilton and the CFTC have collected various tales of fraud in a book published by the government--profits from which will go neither to him nor to the CFTC. The book's title is "Ponzimonium--How Scam Artists are Ripping Off America."

"It is Ponzimonium out there. Individuals need to be more vigilant than ever about their investments," Chilton said.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York. Follow me on twitter.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $132.65 0.00%
FB $81.91 0.00%
GOOG $555.37 0.00%
TSLA $231.55 0.00%
YHOO $44.36 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,037.97 -42.17 -0.23%
S&P 500 2,108.92 -8.77 -0.41%
NASDAQ 5,060.2460 -31.8390 -0.63%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs