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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Investment scammers can easily hurt legions of people

It is interesting -- and many readers might also note distressing -- to recurrently see stories featuring defendants who commit a criminal act that arguably hurts no one other than themselves and nonetheless receive lengthy (sometimes decades-long) prison sentences.

The perplexing aspect of such outcomes owes largely to the contrastive civil and/or criminal penalties that often accompany the architects of financial scams that sometimes bilk many hundreds -- even thousands -- of people out of money that they have worked long and hard to save.

Notably, those individuals often receive seemingly slight sentences -- veritable slaps on the wrist -- for conduct that injured many others and has adverse ripple effects well into the future.

Not always, though. Sometimes a judge acts in quick and stern fashion when addressing the conduct of an investment scammer brought before the court, taking actions that strongly signal an upcoming harsh judicial outcome for that individual.

Such seems to be the case with a man brought into a federal courthouse earlier this week after being charged with multiple criminal counts relating to long-term activity aimed at defrauding a high number of customers.

The judge called the defendant "a significant economic threat to the community," ordering him to be held without bail pending trial.

Other descriptions were also supplied from the bench, with the judge denoting a "serial fraudster" who "just rips off elderly people throughout the country."

Allegedly, the man did so through an organized criminal enterprise that falsely hyped investment results and lied about regulatory approvals. In classic Ponzi-scheme fashion, say investigators, much of the reportedly $19 million stolen in the scam from approximately 150 investors went toward expenditures not remotely connected to any business endeavor.

The defendant faces a potential prison term of 17 ½ years.

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