The Final Judgement in Ponzi Scheme
People know that it is important to invest as a way to earn extra money for their retirement. In some cases, people rely on these investments entirely as a way to support themselves when they retire. Since this is something that is so important for their life, they take it very seriously. The problem is that there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there who want to take advantage of these people who are desperately seeking ways to save for their future. Ponzi schemes are scams that target people investing their hard earned money but this story has a happy ending for the victims of this one Ponzi scheme.
The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Martin C. Hartmann III was a sales agent for Agape Inc. from somewhere between September 2006 and January 2009. Laura Ann Tordy worked there as well as a sales agent between February 2007 and January 2009. They allegedly misrepresented themselves to investors about what they could get from investing with Agape Inc. It was also alleged that these investments were a sham and were not registered with the Commission nor did they have any registration exemptions. The defendants were not even associated with any registered broker or dealer while they were selling off investments.
On July 2013 United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, the Honorable Denis R. Hurley entered the final judgement against the defendants named Laura Ann Tordy and Martin C. Hartmann III. The defendants were sales agents for "Agape", Agape Inc. Their Ponzi scheme managed to raise around $415 million from an estimated 5,000 investors across the nation. The fraud was recognized by the court and they will not get away with their horrible misdeeds.
Let's take a closer look at the final judgement that was handed down to these defendants. Hartmann was found in violation of Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 as well as Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. He was also found in violation of Rule 10b-5. This requires him to pay $3,591,388 for disgorgement, $560,932 for pre-judgement interest, and $3,594,818 in civil penalties. As for Tordy, she was found in violation of the same provisions of these federal securities laws as Hartmann. She must pay $1,048,485 for disgorgement, $163,761 in pre-judgement interest, and $1,048,485 for civil penalties.