Pending Fraud Cases in the United States

by Ben Widlanski | February 2019

Charles PonziAt any given time, there are hordes of civil fraud recovery actions ongoing in various courts in the United States.  These can range from fairly small matters, involving only a handful of people and with only a few thousand dollars at issue, to enormously complex international fraudulent schemes involving billions of dollars of diverted, misused, or stolen money from thousands or even millions of victims.

Additionally, the more complicated financial fraud cases can often take years – or even decades – to fully resolve.  For example, the most famous Ponzi scheme of all time, the Bernie Madoff fraud, was exposed in the later part of 2008.  Today, nearly ten years later, the trustee working on behalf of the victims, Irving Picard, is still actively seeking recoveries in order to make the defrauded investors whole.

In addition to the Madoff case, attorneys, receivers, and trustees are still working to recover money on behalf of defrauded victims in other multi-billion dollar schemes that also unraveled as a result of the financial crisis of 2008.  The Arthur Nadel Ponzi scheme and the Thomas Petters Ponzi scheme are still the subject of ongoing litigation, even a decade later.

Of course, while “older” frauds are being investigated and victims and their attorneys attempt to recover a percentage of what was lost, “new” frauds are uncovered every day.  In the past two years, for example, a scheme in Maryland that bilked investors out of nearly $350 million in investments unraveled (the “Global Credit Recovery” scheme); a $100 million investment fraud fell apart in Rochester, New York (the “First Nationle” scheme); and a $1.2 billion mortgage investment company based in Los Angeles and Florida declared bankruptcy amidst an SEC investigation into financial irregularities and investor losses.

Simultaneously to these enormous, headline-grabbing cases, there are thousands of other civil fraud cases filed every day.  From cutting-edge, technology-based frauds emanating from the evolving world of crypto-currency (the “AriseBank” fraud) to various qui tam whistleblower cases involving governmental contracting or healthcare fraud, the marketplace is overflowing with people who are willing and able to scam innocent investors out of their hard-earned cash.  And, sadly, it doesn’t look like it will be stopping any time soon.

Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton

Ben Widlanski
Ben Widlanski is a partner at KTT who focuses on high-stakes commercial litigation, class actions, and Ponzi scheme and financial fraud recoveries. Prior to his time at KTT, Ben was an assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, where he litigated, prosecuted, and investigated hundreds of federal criminal actions. Ben is also a former United States Army officer, and a graduate of Columbia University and Columbia Law School.​

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