Diversified Global Finance - Madoff III?!!

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Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

I had a former client pay me a visit yesterday and after what she showed me, I'm convinced that she's getting screwed.  Back last summer when she left, I wrote her a note and told her that I was sorry things hadn't worked out better and invited her to call me if she needed anything else.  Frankly, I didn't expect to hear from her again, so when she called to set up an appointment, I was curious enough to agree to meet with her since she was the only client I had last year actually leave me without even talking to me.  Here's the story as briefly as I can put it...
 
Apparently, my client's wealthy brother found another investment group that was paying well...VERY well.  Up until December, he was making 3% a month(!)  Now, they are making a paltry 1% per month.  She tells me that her brother paid an attorney to do some due diligence on this firm and that between the two of them and a couple of other family members, they've invested over a mil with this group.  Aside from my skepticism about these high "guaranteed" returns, I had some other flags pop up...
 
1.  The "statements" are on letterhead and have zero disclosures on them.
2.  The "firm" is supposedly domiciled in Auckland, New Zealand.
3.  The "statements"  were metered and apparently mailed from Grand Rapids Michigan
4.  The envelope was hand-addressed and the print looked like it was written by a teenager.
5.  She told me that she was charged a $1,995 transfer fee(!)
 
Here's the company website:
 
http://www.diversifiedglobalfinance.com.pa/
 
I feel badly for her since it looks like she was sucked in by a family member she trusted, and she can ill-afford to lose the money she's entrusted these folks with.  Based on what I'm seeing, I can't imagine that these folks are legitimate and I wonder what kind of an attorney blessed such a suspect "firm".  If any of you have any words of wisdom, or better yet, have had experience with this firm, I'd appreciate any information since I told her I'd check into the firm to make sure it was OK (I didn't want to alarm her).
 
The things I run into never cease to amaze me...

Hank Moody's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-10

What's the problem? It sounds like you're being set up to do some free consulting. Smart lady. 

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

If it gets another group of slimeballs off the street, I'll do a little pro bono work.

Hank Moody's picture
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Indyone wrote:If it gets another group of slimeballs off the street, I'll do a little pro bono work.Let's call Dog Chapman to help us make a citizen's arrest in New Zealand.

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

It says right on the website that they're not regulated, they're not a financial institution, and they have no relationship with any governmental office.  She's either willfully ignorant or too stupid for her own good.  It's not your problem.  You're better off not dealing with her at all going forward.  I'd inform her of the disclosure and wish her the best of luck.

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Yeah, DK...I know I owe her nothing...especially when she left without even talking to me.  The other side of me feels sorry for someone who's not very sophisticated about investments and was encouraged into this mess by her own brother.  If this is what I think it is (ponzi), future family reunions may be pretty tense.  I'm taking your advice, telling her why I'm concerned and referring her to the semi-local FBI financial crimes office to see what their opinion is.

now_indy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-28

Looks like these guys are part of the NZ company:
http://www.iocholdings.com.pa/web/about.php
 
They are based out of Grand Rapids, MI.
 
Good luck with your search.

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Thanks for that bit...I'm still just as confused about what these folks really are, but at least you solved the Grand Rapids connection.  I'm just shocked that David W. McQueen doesn't turn up any results in FINRA's broker check...

liquidasset's picture
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Joined: 2005-08-10

50k gets you a 12% cd for 5 years.......wow

gvf's picture
gvf
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Joined: 2008-07-01

"Diversified Global Finance is not a licensed securities broker,
financial institution, or government agency; nor is it, or any of its
associates, affiliated with, or endorsed by, any financial institution,
government or government agency"."Term deposit accounts earn up to 10.25% APY. Special Offering &
Private placement 12%-18% or higher. Unlimited income potential. "Makes me want to cancel my ING savings account!  Screw ~2%!!

HymanRoth's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-25

The amazing thing is that other than their websites I can't find ANYTHING about them posted anywhere else...at least not by using google.Weird.Maybe someone with more search savvy can help us out here...or maybe there really isn't anyone else.How in the world could someone give them money and not be suspicious of such high rates?

etj4588's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-18

Here is the WhoIs information:
 
Quote:
Registrant:   Diversifed Global Finance   3819 Rivertown Parkway   Suite 300 PMB 200   Grandville, Michigan 49418   United States   Registered through: FindingMyDomain   Domain Name: DIVERSIFIEDGLOBALFINANCE.COM      Created on: 15-May-08      Expires on: 15-May-09      Last Updated on: 15-May-08   Administrative Contact:      McQueen, David  eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%74%72%69%63%69%61%40%69%6f%63%68%6f%6c%64%69%6e%67%73%2e%63%6f%6d%22%3e%74%72%69%63%69%61%40%69%6f%63%68%6f%6c%64%69%6e%67%73%2e%63%6f%6d%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b'))      Diversifed Global Finance      3819 Rivertown Parkway      Suite 300 PMB 200      Grandville, Michigan 49418      United States      (616) 988-6020      Fax -- (616) 988-6070   Technical Contact:      McQueen, David  eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%74%72%69%63%69%61%40%69%6f%63%68%6f%6c%64%69%6e%67%73%2e%63%6f%6d%22%3e%74%72%69%63%69%61%40%69%6f%63%68%6f%6c%64%69%6e%67%73%2e%63%6f%6d%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b'))      Diversifed Global Finance      3819 Rivertown Parkway      Suite 300 PMB 200      Grandville, Michigan 49418      United States      (616) 988-6020      Fax -- (616) 988-6070
 
Seems the domain was registered on May 15th, 2008.  It's pretty new.

now_indy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-28

This is interesting, I googled the 3819 Rivertown Pkwy (Suite 300) address, and this is what I found:

Pak Mail

Tags: Movers, Movers, Packaging
3819 Rivertown Parkway SW # 300, Grandville, MI 49418
www.pakmail.com
(616) 534-5160 (616) 534-5685 (fax)

 

On the website, the company just mentions 3819 Rivertown Pkwy, but the Whois data mentions Suite 300. 

 

You can tell your client that she is sending her money to an anonymous mailbox in a strip mall, that should make her feel real good!

 

Tell your client to take their money out and run like the wind.  This thing has GOT to be a fraud.

etj4588's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-18

PMB 200
 
Pak Mail Box?

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

That's some great information you all have dug up and I appreciate all your efforts (especially yours, Hank).  I've sent a note to her explaining my concerns and advising her to call the FBI.  I'm going to share a few more of these posts so she can give the FBI a jumpstart in going after these bastards.  I hope these people get their money back, but if not, I guess it is a valuable lesson...

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

I think it's a sad commentary on what people will fall for if only given the opportunity.  I guess the old addage that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is doesn't apply any longer.  
 
Indy - have you tried calling the phone number?

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Indyone, has she tried to remove her money? 
 
 

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Spaceman Spiff wrote:I think it's a sad commentary on what people will fall for if only given the opportunity.  I guess the old addage that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is doesn't apply any longer.  
 
Indy - have you tried calling the phone number?
 
I haven't.  I started to and then stopped because I was too pissed off.  I also decided that it was better to notify the FBI before these crooks were tipped off (I hope they don't read this forum).

Indyone's picture
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anonymous wrote:Indyone, has she tried to remove her money? 
 
No.  Up until today when she receives my first bit of mail on the subject, she thinks the whole thing is as good as gold.  I can only imagine what she'll think when I share some more of the information you all have been so kind to dig up.  Assuming she's not too ashamed to call me, I will share the results of what happens in this saga.  It's sad, but very interesting...and I have a feeling that after the names are changed to protect the skinned, it will make my next newsletter as a valuable warning.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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I think you have to leave your mind at least a little open to the possibility that they are in fact for real.  At least the New Zealand version.  Now the Pak Mail box version is certainly fishy, but the folk in NZ may be legit.  Of course, then that's what Bernie's clients would have said too.  I don't think there's any harm in letting her know that if she's investing with anyone, it's with this group out of NZ.  That's a fun one.  Good luck with it.  Keep us posted.  

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

Yeah...if New Zealand has the same inflation as Iceland, it's certainly possible that they would pay 12-18% on "CDs", but if their currency is worthless, it might as well be fraud!  With all the warning signs, I don't think any of this is for real, but I promise to let you know one way or the other if she shares with me...

John Simmons's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-04

So, let me get this straight...this person got 36% last year...and is getting 12% now...with these market conditions...and...there is a problem?  I would suggest they type their communications...but this seems really good to me!  Wish I had gotten 36% last year - that is for sure. 

Indyone's picture
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Ferris Bueller wrote:John Simmons wrote:So, let me get this straight...this person got 36% last year...and is getting 12% now...with these market conditions...and...there is a problem?  I would suggest they type their communications...but this seems really good to me!  Wish I had gotten 36% last year - that is for sure. 
 
Well you've got their address, go ahead and send them a check.  Better still, go get a mortgage on your house too!
 
Apparently there's a larger group of prospects for this firm than I suspected.

tmoney47's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-17

if i was in your shoes, i would feel bad at first.  afterwards, i would have no remorse.  remember, she pulled the account from you without the courtesy as to an explanation. now she desperately needs your help.  she would have never contacted you again if things went great. from the info that you mentioned, it defiantely stands out as bogus.
i would also watch your back with her.  she may somehow tell the authorities that she brought this to your attention.... and that you did nothing...  just be careful and walk away from her. 

brandnewadvisor's picture
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***UPDATE****
 
Guys/Gals,
 
My office is about two blocks from the Pak Mail Store (like a UPS store) that this outfit is using.  I used to live in Grandville!
 
So on Monday I get an email from some chick named Nancy using an sbcglobal email address that says:
 
"message from [client name]"
 
Then goes on...
 
[client name] would like to sell invesetments in accounts:
xxx
xxx
xxx
 
Please close accounts and send a check to address of record.
 
Sincerely,
 
[client name]
 
At first I didn't really give two sh*ts, but thought I'd call anyway and see why they didn't just do an ACAT.  When I talk to the client he tells me ol' Nancy is making her clients over 12%/year guaranteed.  I presume some annuity scam, but nope, client confirms it's not an annuity.  In fact, he didn't really know what it was, was given no prospectus, no printed material, and was going to liquidate his accounts (all IRA) and have us send a check because that's what Nancy told him to do so she could get him in on this guaranteed product.  He decides even though he didn't know what he was buying that he still wanted to move the money so he called up his girl Nancy and did transfer paperwork.
 
All he remembers is Diversified Global something or another from New Zeeland.
 
So on to google I go....
 
Then I almost sh*t my pants.  I find all the same stuff you guys have here, the IOC, David McQueen, Called the number but no one but admin were available.  I think it's a virual answering service where they only want to take messages.  Alas, I sure as hell wasn't leaving my name.  So I look up the various people via FINRA, State Insurance Database, etc.  Find out Nancy just got here insurance license on Jan. 15. 
 
I call client back to report and he, I think quite literally sh*t his pants.  He starts to panic as he just signed all sorts of paperwork to move $350,000 to this ponzi scheme.  We call our custodian to cancel the transfer requests.  Call the SEC to check on the validity of these organizations - none of them check out.  If the product was legitimate it would still have to be registered and the people selling them would have to have a securities license.  None of these organizations or people meet either criteria.  SEC is looking into the scam as we speak.
 
Crazy SH*T right in my own backyard.
 
To answer someone's question about google:  you find nothing because all of these companies have .com.pa websites.  These means (for you web neophytes) that all of these companies are really from Panama, Central America - at least from a soliciting standpoint.  So they can write whatever they want on their websites and the US regulators have ZERO resonsibility to crackdown.  As for Mr. McQueen - he sure as hell doesn't have an office or live in Grandville as far as I can tell.  There are no David McQueens in any areas around Grand Rapids or Grandville per whitepages.com.
 
Lastly, the company soliciting this sh*t is also from Michigan - Kalamazoo/Portage to be exact.  If anyone wants to make some prank calls for sh*ts and giggles they call themselves "American Benefit Concepts" - www.americanbenefitconcepts.com.  That is "con"cepts I'm sure.  Another company involved in the scam is www.smartretirementconcepts.com - also using the Pak Mail address.
 
Damn I hate crooks.

brandnewadvisor's picture
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My bad, the Smart Retirement Concepts address is listed as Wachovia Securities.  Interesting?

Indyone's picture
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brandnewadvisor wrote:My bad, the Smart Retirement Concepts address is listed as Wachovia Securities.  Interesting?
 
Wow...this is getting ugly fast.  Thanks for all the local intelligence.  Sadly, it looks like my (former) client's family is potentially out over a cool million.  I hope they get these guys shut down before all the money is spent.

gvf's picture
gvf
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Joined: 2008-07-01

Is this what Markopolos was talking about when he mentioned unveiling numerous ponzi schemes?  Wasn't that today? 

Moraen's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-22

What a freakin' mess!

How can these people live with themselves?

ibbledo's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-07

Scam huh?  How little you know.  Private equity happens to be what those with the money are smart enough to be looking for.  The real issue here is all the "planners" who think they know everything are crying and getting desperate.  The truth hurts. 
 
You should do your homework before jumping to such brash and uninformed opinions.

IndySouth's picture
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ibbledo wrote:Scam huh?  How little you know.  Private equity happens to be what those with the money are smart enough to be looking for.  The real issue here is all the "planners" who think they know everything are crying and getting desperate.  The truth hurts. 
 
You should do your homework before jumping to such brash and uninformed opinions.
 
Hey Madoff, I thought you weren't allowed to use the computer. You're a moron.

smartgal's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-06

I wonder if your previous clients have any idea the way you could care less about them.  I think you better take a look in the mirror and get a different career! 

Moraen's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-22

First of all, you need to have a certain level of net worth to make private equity a viable investment solution.

That's not to say that there are not good private equity deals out there. The second issue is that "planners" have built a certain level of trust with their clients, while people like this are destroying that trust.

Planners are desperate? You bet, but only because crooks keep giving all financial professionals a bad name.

ibbledo - I hope for your sake you don't think that private equity is the be-all end all for all your clients. I'd hate to see you on the news trying to ditch your plane or walking around with a house arrest anklet.

"This just in, financial wizard "iblledo" just dropped the soap in the shower and was attacked in the shower. In response to the crime, Bernie Madoff said, "That's how it goes in here, we can't stop screwing people"".

SometimesNowhere's picture
Joined: 2008-12-22

Ever notice how it's always the people that are pimping some bogus product that get all sensitive when people call them out on their garbage? My personal favorite is when they create like six accounts and chime in with different names to make them sound legitimate.

Can't wait for the feds to kick down their door and cram their face into the dirt floor in the basement of some slum that they work out of while they throw the shackleson you. Enjoy the time smartgal/ibbledo/good ol' Nancy. I hear they love you soft, white collar criminal types inside...

Indyone's picture
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SometimesNowhere wrote:Ever notice how it's always the people that are pimping some bogus product that get all sensitive when people call them out on their garbage? My personal favorite is when they create like six accounts and chime in with different names to make them sound legitimate.

Can't wait for the feds to kick down their door and cram their face into the dirt floor in the basement of some slum that they work out of while they throw the shackleson you. Enjoy the time smartgal/ibbledo/good ol' Nancy. I hear they love you soft, white collar criminal types inside...
 
I've thought the same thing.  Hopefully the reason we haven't heard any more from these first-time posters is that they are too busy running from SEC enforcement.

someonewouldntexpect's picture
Joined: 2008-10-25

Hell, you can't even guarantee that if you give your bank your money that they'll return it to you at par. 

norcalstoppy's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-11

wow this is some crazy shit.....

skeedaddy2's picture
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Lady Of Truth's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-17

Obviously, someone knows about "Guaranteed Rates of Return"

Maybe we just need more education, Boys???
Check out the following link! http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/4MKaSYkArgxBWBupKdABLhTeXPCtX4RbXSi_kKkClVSxou2DuWdi4FtupiryAT-3HSoMs0OMjoNUKB2pHmtVqg/Special%20Invite/Interesting_Invite.pdf

Lady Of Truth's picture
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Hey.. If you are having trouble clicking on the link provided in last posting, please copy and paste the link into your web browser and it should take you directly to the link I was referring to... Thanks
http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/4MKaSYkArgxBWBupKdABLhTeXPCtX4RbXSi_kKkClVSxou2DuWdi4FtupiryAT-3HSoMs0OMjoNUKB2pHmtVqg/Special%20Invite/Interesting_Invite.pdf

etj4588's picture
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Lady Of Truth wrote:
Hey.. If you are having trouble clicking on the link provided in last posting, please copy and paste the link into your web browser and it should take you directly to the link I was referring to... Thanks
 
link broken

Lady Of Truth's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-17

Sorry Everyone, seems that the previous link was having troubles so,  I have set up a link that should work now... Again, Obviously someone knows about "Guaranteed Rates of Return",  maybe we just need more education...
http://s1.webstarts.com/LadyOfTruth/

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-30

I'll bite...educate me on how to get a guaranteed 12% rate of return.  You lay out the facts and we'll see just how much there is to that claim.  Incidentally, the scenario I laid out at the beginning of this thread was not at all similar to using life insurance as an investment.

Moraen's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-22

I especially like the professional website as well as the nice little invitation.  How awesome - please make sure I get to go to this and become educated. 

Bodysurf's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-02

It's amazing to me how many people kept their money with Madoff even after they suspected it was a Ponzi scheme, because they were making so much money.  And it sounds like her brother parked a million with these clowns without doing the due diligence FIRST, in hiring an attorney to find out exactly where his money was going.I have a question, though:  we are licensed financial advisors.  Isn't it OUR obligation to notify the FBI when these suspicions arise?  We don't need to have an account there to pick up the phone, do we?  Were I you, I would take what I know and call the SEC, right now.  I don't know what your liability is if you say nothing, but I wouldn't want to take the change.  And I would tell the client, from what you've said and from doing private research, I've notified the state and federal authorities that I suspect these investments are fraudulent.  What she does after that is up to her.

Indyone's picture
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According to one of the earlier posts, it appears that the SEC is already investigating these clowns, and I did everything but call the FBI for this lady.  I gave her phone numbers for both local field offices and urged her to call them.  I haven't heard back from her (I'm guessing she's either too embarrassed or still in denial), but I documented my efforts, even though I feel like I owe her very little at this point, since she's a former client.  At some point, if I hear no more from her, I'll probably call her just to see what's going on...what a sad mess.

 
I wonder where the lady of half-truths went? 

JayMc's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-25

is she hot?

skeedaddy2's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-14

Bodysurf wrote:I have a question, though:  we are licensed financial advisors.  Isn't it OUR obligation to notify the FBI when these suspicions arise?  We don't need to have an account there to pick up the phone, do we? I lost a $2 million account to Stanford. The point here is that when the client decided to make the change, the client wouldn't/couldn't explain the investment process that he was being offered by them. All he kept saying was that he was offered a "CD" that yielded about the same as the historical returns of the market without the volatility of the market. I was as much in the dark about Stanford as the client. How was I expected to support an accusation of wrong-doing? If I had more insight into what they were doing, well then I would blown the whistle. Moreover, even when Markopolous (?) had more substantive accusations against Madoff, the authorities did nothing about it for 8 years.

Mike Damone's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

JayMc wrote:is she hot?
 
I won't lie.  I was going to ask the same thing.

golfnut7772's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-09

Why don't you just get an appointment with Mr. Mcqueen? I did. We sat down & went through a tough Q & A. His answers were good with me. My Father-in-law created a self directed IRA through Smart Retirement Concepts, & is invested with Diversified Global Finance. He now enjoys a check every month for 1% of his account balance, (like clockwork). This may come as a shock to some, but the "ultra rich" of America don't buy mutual funds at all! So what do they do? They pursue private investment opportunities out there. They play a different game than the "average Joe". Their game works, & the "av. Joe's" game doesn't. (The rich get richer) You're free to invest with this co. if you want to. You'll get 12% like my Father-in-law. Or you can keep on doing what you've always done, & go down with the ship! Do some real homework before you make snap judgements just because you're angry about losing a client. Or angry about not being able to compete. Look, I was at a meeting in Michigan late last yr., where the company had all of their clients come in for one of 3 meeting times. There were around 30, or so at the one I attended. I was able to take some time to talk to several in attendance. These people were some of the most savey investors I've ever had the opportunity to talk to. The caliber of these people were top notch. (Business owners, CEOs, Doctors, ect.) That only made me feel better about the entire situation. So, it is what it is. My Father-in-law is comfortable with it, & so am I. I'm betting that lady who left you is too, & that's why she hasn't called you back. Not being rude, just keeping it real.

etj4588's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-18

^^^ You guys are so dumb that you don't even realize that you're digging your grave even deeper by posting on these forums!

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