New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Another “get rich scheme” is under fire by the SEC today after a Swiss-based “hedge fund,” Malom Group AG, and six individuals in Las Vegas and Zurich raised $11 million from U.S. investors by using a series of lies and forged documents to steer them into seemingly successful foreign trading programs that were nothing more than vehicles to steal money.
The company is named with an acronym for “Make A Lot Of Money.” The SEC announced fraud charges when it was exposed that the company had advance fee schemes guaranteeing astronomical returns to investors in purported prime bank transactions and overseas debt instruments.
“Advance fee frauds solicit investors to make upfront payments before purported deals can go through, and perpetrators fool investors with official-sounding terminology to add an air of legitimacy to the investment programs.” The SEC said. “Many transactions offered by Malom Group bore hallmarks of prime bank frauds, which tout the supposed use of well-known overseas banks to attract investors.”
“They peddled agreements and transactions filled with technical-sounding jargon that was as meaningless as their promises to investors.”Stephen L. Cohen, an associate director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Department of Justice today announced criminal charges against the same six individuals charged in the SEC’s complaint:
- Anthony B. Brandel of Las Vegas, who served as Malom Group’s main point of contact with U.S. investors – explaining the investments, collecting investor funds, and lulling investors about the status of the transactions. His Las Vegas company M.Y. Consultants also is charged in the SEC’s complaint.
- Sean P. Finn of Whitefish, Mont., who recruited U.S. investors through his Wyoming-based company M. Dwyer LLC, which also is charged in the SEC’s complaint.
- Hans-Jürg Lips of Switzerland, who has been described as the Malom Group’s president or chairman of the board of directors.
- Joseph N. Micelli of Las Vegas, who has been described as Malom Group’s compliance officer.
- Martin U. Schläpfer of Switzerland, who has been described as Malom Group’s chief executive officer, managing director, and legal counsel.
- James C. Warras of Waterford, Wisc., who has been described as Malom Group’s executive vice president.
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