After masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, Allen Stanford has been sentenced to 110 years in prison without parole. Stanford insists that he is not a thief and that he had intended to pay all of his victims back. He was convicted on 13 counts of conspiracy, wire and mail fraud, obstruction, and money laundering in March. Stanford got his start when he bought a Texas fitness club. When it went bankrupt, he tried offshore banking. He had an estimated fortune of over $2 billion, a knighthood awarded by Antigua, yachts, jets, and his own professional cricket team and stadium. Stanford did not testify at his trial and did not go into details about the accusations during his sentencing. Stanford claims that he did not pocket money, but actually invested in many enterprises and employed over 5,000 people. Stanford and his lawyers are going to appeal the convictions and sentence. Mr. Stanford spent three years in prison awaiting trial because he was beaten in a 2010 fight with another inmate and then became addicted to prescription anti-stress drugs. The defense said that Stanford could not properly defend himself due to his loss of memory.

Fraud expert Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog asks how much can one person steal from the American public? Well if your Mr. Stanford, that amount is 7 billion dollars. How is it possible for mastermind fraudster like this able to steal so much much money? The answer is simple. Very few people can recognize a ponzi scheme and people are always looking for the next “get-rich-quick investment”.  America is the land of opportunity and that is certainly true for the fraudster as well. Opportunities to scam the American public are everywhere including small communities, farming areas, and/or large metro cities.

When everyone is making money, the Ponzi fraudster is typically making even more money. The fraudster’s job is to get two more people to sign up for every one person they payoff. These scams typically fall apart when the economy goes down and people have less money to invest. The Ponzi scam artist cannot keep the scam going because they have to find more investors quickly so they can pay off the prior investors. As soon as it starts to unravel, there are millions of innocent people left with nothing to show for their investment. In simple terms, you are left with nothing. Madoff and Sanford left millions of Americans with nothing left in their bank accounts and a lot of these same victims were retired elderly adults. Therefore, to answer the question “how much is too much?” In the fraudsters mind, it is never enough. Bottom-line: they would have kept the scam going if the scams had not unraveled. For America the answer is simple, we have got to take a stand and fight the fraudster now. It is time to say, “we have ALL had enough of your scams and you have taken too much from all of us already,” says Linda Webb the Fraud Dog.

 

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