Friday, January 30, 2009


Federal and state authorities are reporting a growing number of financial scams that echo the alleged Madoff fraud, as strapped investors seek access to their cash amid increasingly hard times.

At least six suspected multimillion-dollar fraud cases have emerged this month alone, many of them alleged Ponzi schemes, in which investors are lured by promises of lofty returns but are actually paid off from new victims' funds. For the full Wall Street Journal story go to Allan's blog at

Ponzi Schemes Poliferating!

Wall Street Journal

JANUARY 28, 2009


Federal and state authorities are reporting a growing number of financial scams that echo the alleged Madoff fraud, as strapped investors seek access to their cash amid increasingly hard times.At least six suspected multimillion-dollar fraud cases have emerged this month alone, many of themalleged Ponzi schemes, in which investors are lured by promises of lofty returns but are actually paid offfrom new victims' funds.

On Tuesday, authorities arrested Arthur Nadel, the missing Florida hedge-fund adviser, who wasaccused by federal authorities of defrauding clients of millions of dollars. His arrest came as Spanishbanking giant Banco Santander SA said it would offer thousands of its private-banking clients !1.38billion ($1.82 billion) in compensation for losses arising from investments in Bernard L. Madoff'salleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme, the first financial company to do so.

Todd Foster, a lawyer for Mr. Nadel, says his client voluntarily surrendered to the authorities and is cooperating with them. He says "we aren't in a position to comment on the criminal charges now,"adding that investment "losses don't necessarily equate with fraud."

In the latest case to emerge, Nicholas Cosmo, a Long Island, N.Y., investment-firm owner, surrenderedto federal authorities Monday. Mr. Cosmo allegedly raised more than $370 million between 2006 and2008 by promising investors 48% annual returns from funding commercial loans, according to a federal affidavit in support of his arrest.

But little money was lent, and only about $746,000 remains, according to the federal affidavit.
According to his attorneys, Mr. Cosmo intends to work with authorities "to allay investors' concerns." A federal judge in New York's Eastern District ordered him held pending a bail hearing Thursday.
The rise in financial-fraud reports preceded the Madoff case's emergence. A review of recent Securities and Exchange Commission civil actions shows an increase in cases in which the agency alleged Ponzi schemes. The agency, which doesn't keep an official count, brought at least 23 Ponzi cases last year, upfrom 15 in 2007. It has already filed four in 2009.

That tally doesn't include actions on the state level,where allegations of securities fraud are routinely pursued. The SEC declined to make anyone availableto discuss its Ponzi cases.
More schemes are emerging now, experts say, in part because of the economic downturn. Tough times have prompted people to seek to cash in their investments, only to find out their money is missing.

New investment also dries up in slumps, making it harder for fraudulent funds to replenish their coffers andmake the payments needed to keep their operations going.

The recent economic boom may have made some investors especially susceptible to Ponzi schemes andother investment frauds, investigators say. That's because legitimate but secretive hedge funds and other investment firms reported years of strong gains, making eye-popping returns seem more plausible."When you have serious economic problems, people who have been content with where their money hasbeen sitting sometimes need it," says Bill E. Branscum, a private investigator in Naples, Fla., who has probed dozens of Ponzi schemes. "And in needing it and in finding out that they can't get it, that servesto reveal Ponzi schemes that may have gone unnoticed."

Three weeks ago, the SEC accused a Philadelphia-area investment fund manager, Joseph S. Forte, with running a Ponzi scheme since at least 1995 that claimed returns as high as 38% and raised $50 million.Mr. Forte didn't return phone calls made late in the day.

Meanwhile, Idaho's securities regulators are investigating allegations by investors in Idaho Falls that they lost up to $100 million in an alleged Ponzi scheme by Daren Palmer, a local money manager. No charges have been filed. Mr. Palmer didn't return phone calls made late in the day.
There was also the case of Marcus Schrenker, an Indiana financial adviser who was arrested in Florida earlier this month after allegedly trying to stage his death in a plane crash as investigators probed his businesses.

He faces charges in Indiana and Florida; his lawyer has said Mr. Schrenker isn't mentallycompetent to stand trial in Florida.The biggest case, of course, is the one allegedly carried off by New York money manager Mr. Madoff,who has estimated inflicting losses of $50 billion on his investors. Mr. Madoff's attorney, Ira Lee Sorkin, declined to comment.

In scale, all of the SEC's other alleged Ponzi cases pale in comparison with Mr. Madoff's alleged scheme,which lasted for decades. The second-largest SEC case last year, one that the agency says primarily targeted Orthodox Jews, totaled about $255 million, according to SEC records. Excluding the Madoff case, the alleged schemes cited in the past 13 months generated more than $1.1 billion from unsuspecting investors, according to SEC records.

The Ponzi scams alleged by the SEC sprung up all around the country: in Texas, where participants,many of them elderly, invested $45 million in a phony hedge fund that supposedly produced annual returns as high as 61%; in a currency-trading scheme in Georgia which promised returns of 10% a month; in Florida, where two companies raised $30 million by allegedly convincing investors they would earn money by exporting gadgets like Apple iPods to South America. The SEC alleges that the companies purchased few electronics and used "newly invested funds to make principal and interest payments toexisting investors."

An attorney for the defendant in the Texas case, Rod Cameron Stringer, had no comment. An attorneyfor the defendant in the Georgia case, James G. Ossie, said his client "hasn't yet responded to the allegations of the government" but that "he's been cooperating with regulators and wants to makerestitution to all his clients." The defendant in the Florida case, Andres Pimstein, pleaded guilty last month to related criminal charges of wire fraud "in connection with a multi-million dollar investment'Ponzi' scheme," according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Pimstein couldn't be reached for comment. According to SEC filings, many of the alleged victims in the agency's cases believed they were receiving huge returns from exotic investments, including hedge funds, private placements of securities and Ponzi operators "always need a disguise," says Robert L. FitzPatrick, a Charlotte, N.C., consultant andexpert on Ponzi and pyramid schemes, a similar form of ruse in which investors lure other investors. "

It normally includes some kind of rather vague description of the way it earns money." He notes that legitimate hedge funds, which are lightly regulated, generally lack transparency. The Ponzi scheme's namesake, Charles Ponzi, a Boston-based con man, peddled an exotic investment.Mr. Ponzi raised millions of dollars in 1920 by promising 50% returns in 45 days by exploiting exchange-rate discrepancies in international postal coupons, used to buy stamps. But authorities said he wasn't even buying the coupons; he later pleaded guilty to mail fraud.

In many of the SEC cases, the perpetrators allegedly siphoned off money to fund lavish lifestyles. An SECcivil complaint last year accuses a California investment adviser of using millions of his clients' money"to pay for lavish personal expenses, such as upkeep on his Ferrari, limousine services and shopping trips." The defendant, Robert C. Brown Jr., of Hillsborough, Calif., couldn't be reached for comment late in the day.

The SEC has accused South Florida investment adviser Anthony A. James of misappropriating at least$2.4 million in client funds to buy a six-bedroom home, a Porsche and season tickets to the Miami Heatbasketball team. In that case, filed in September, the SEC alleges that between 2001 and January 2008,Mr. James, principal of James Asset Advisory LLC, received at least $5.2 million from about 44 clientswho were told their money would be invested in stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

The SEC alleges the money never was invested. Instead, the agency says, Mr. James misappropriated atleast $2.4 million for personal expenses. They also say that "like a classic Ponzi scheme," he and hiscompany "transferred approximately $2.8 million from new clients to existing clients to repay principal or to create the illusion of profitable trading."
Bruce M. Lyons, Mr. James's attorney in the SEC case, says his client doesn't dispute the allegations and that he's "trying to arrange to make everybody who was involved in the transactions whole."—Philip Shishkin and William M. Bulkeley contributed to this article.

Write to Steve Stecklow at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009



Taking Charge for Yourself

This week, Allan Holender and Bruce Stewart will start sharing their on-going dialogue about life with you. Allan - the author of Zentrepreneurism - and Bruce - the founder of Accendor Research - will share in conversation their parallel journeys toward the Zentrepreneurial road. Hear how the book came to be, and a little bit about Allan's journey through the slings and arrows of the kinds of schemes that ensnare so many budding entrepreneurs. Hear how Bruce, disgusted with the behaviours of both the corporate managers and entrepreneurs he worked with, had to overcome his own beliefs to found his own Zentrepreneurial company.

Missed the Live Show ? This episode is rebroadcast at 11pm Pacific. Past Episodes are available On Demand and Podcast Ready

Friday, January 23, 2009


If you missed the inaugural ZenBiz Radio Show with Dave Stewart you can listen to the re-broadcast at 8:00 a.m. pacific Saturday morning on

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 11am Pacific

Welcome to the inaugural episode of ZenBiz Radio

Zentrepreneur of the Week A day after the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, Dave Stewart, music icon and humanitarian will be Allan Holender's guest. Allan and Dave will discuss Dave's commitment to humanity through his music, why he feels the world is ready for the message of Zentrepreneurism, and what causes, music projects and entrepreneurial ventures he is currently working on. Dave's music tribute video to Obama, "American Prayer", shown at the Inauguration ceremony will be talked about, as well as Dave's heroes, what he is most passionate about. He'll also be asked the question Allan asks all his guests: "What did you love to do most when you were 10 years old?" - inspirational, engaging and entertaining talk you shouldn't miss!

Missed the Live Show ? This episode is rebroadcast at 11pm Pacific. Past Episodes are available On Demand and Podcast Ready

Listen LIVE to VoiceAmericaBusiness!
Be sure to tune to ZenBiz Radio Wednesdays at 11AM PST.

Log on to Listen
Questions? Comments? Call: 1-866-472-5790
For More Information Visit :

Friday, January 16, 2009


Allan Holender will be interviewed today at 1:00 p.m. pacific time on Achieve Radio. You can listen live on

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Faced with global issues such as poverty, genocide, climate change, financial collapse, greed, and corruption, it’s easy to feel powerless. We want to do good and change the world, but too often feel paralyzed by the fear that individuals can’t make significant impact. ZenBiz Radio with Allan Holender and Co-Host Bruce Stewart is a new kind of talk radio for good!

ZenBiz Radio is a media project about making a difference : Inspiring interviews with zentrepreneurs who are creating a new world of business for good! Stories About Creating A Business As Well As A Life! Zentrepreneurism is a wake-up call—a call to action, to change, to re-invent and to harness each and every person’s unique ability to help build a better world for business.

ZenBiz Radio is an engaging, informative, and empowering radio show with interviews and conversations with zentrepreneurs from around the globe, some well-known and others less so, who have been inspired to do their part to effect meaningful social change. These notable advocates, activists, and social entrepreneurs share the causes they are passionate about and give advice on what each of us can do to positively impact our employees, communities, and those of others around the world.

From music icon Dave Stewart, who has aligned his corporate mission with notable causes such GreenPeace, TED, and Pangea Day to Arran Stephens, founder of Natures Path Organic Foods, affectionately known as the “hippie capitalist”, who sees money as “green energy”-”From a more enlightened centre within, we can use money for great good, or if selfish and greedy, we can use it to harm and congeal”. These personal journeys illustrate the power of the individual to motivate change.

We are now accepting a limited number of founding partnerships anywhere in the world for this new media convergence project, ZenBiz Radio will air on the Voice America Talk Network. Wednesday’s at 11:00 a.m. pacific

If you would like to explore this partnership opportunity please contact Dave Kredell our ExecutiveProducer It would be very exciting to have you join us on the next phase of the journey. Since the birth of Zentrepreneurism three years ago we have taken our message around the world to over 21 different countries and with 817 members enrolled in the World Wide Association of Zentrepreneurs, it is now time to spread the word around the globe through a virtual medium. Go to to learn more about joining WWAZ and the movement.

A great opportunity awaits for us to engage together globally in a mutually beneficial, purposeful, and profitable project. Coincidentally We are scheduled to launch January 21, 2009, the day after one of the most significant events in the history of the United States of America, the election of Barack Obama, it’s first African American President. Obama has called for an end to selfishness and greed, and to change the way Wall Street and the White House do business.

ZenBiz Radio will do it’s part and we encourage you to join us in this zenful revolution!. We will accept proposals till January 15th.

I look forward to you joining me on ZENBIZ RADIO!

Yes We Zen!


Monday, January 05, 2009

The 9 Predictions for 2009

1. People are going to:

Re-Invent themselves
Re- Adjust themselves
Re-Educate themselves
Re-Purpose themselves

2. People are going to fuse their personal vision with their professional mission, thus creating purpose and passion in their life, and profits with integrity in their business.

3. People will re-evaluate the relentless pursuit of success. This relentless pursuit of success has had massive repercussions for one's mental and physical health: Broken marriages, broken relationships, broken trust and broken dreams

4. Motivational books will be replaced by inspirational books, because when you motivate you serve yourself, but when you inspire you serve others.

5. People are going to be climbing the consciousness ladder instead of the corporate ladder.

6. We are at the lowest level of trust in government and companies since the 1930's. 2009 is going to be the year of "Building Trust".

7. 2009 is going to be all about building trust with your employees, your suppliers, your partners , and in all your personal and business relationships.

8. Greed, power and selfishness will be replaced by credibility, integrity and intent of mutual benefit.

9. Truth and transparency in the business world will no longer be hoped will be demanded.

copyright Allan Holender 2009

Allan will be interviewed on The Terry Spence Show on CFAX Radio in Victoria, B.C today from 2:00-3:00 p.m. pacific time. You can listen online as well on
Terry and Allan will be discussing his 9-point “path to business enlightenment”, and giving his views on how best to succeed in the current world economy.We will also have the opportunity to take calls from listeners and answer any questions you may have.

Join us if you Zen!