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Examples of Ponzi Scheme Fraudulent Investments ... included the Vatican
9/3/2007 4:46:04 AM
As history being your guide you can see that even Great Names and Organizations get placed in some of these schemes.

From website:

For The Good of All Men

Martin Frankel AKA David Rosse AKA Eric Stevens absconded with $335 million after he found out that laxly regulated insurance companies are the perfect target for scam artists as they collect regular cash premiums that are paid out only as policies come due.

Despite being banned for life from securities trading in 1992 - after complaints that $1m had disappeared from a fund he managed - Frankel was able to set up Liberty National Securities, an unlicensed brokerage.

He took over Liberty National, which sold burial policies, then, using its assets, went on to gain controlling stakes in insurance firms in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. By issuing false statements to company trustees he siphoned off $208 million in cash reserves for an extravagant lifestyle consisting of jets, lavish parties and a bevy of live-in ladies.

A college dropout, obsessed over the financial markets, he also bought side-by-side mansions in Greenwich Conn. worth $3 million each with proceeds from his scheme.

Wishing to draw in more money he created a benevolent foundation which purported to not only generate high returns for investors but would acquire insurers and use the profits for charitable purposes. While pitching it he displayed an in-depth knowledge of the saints, especially St. Francis, who was known for helping the poor.

A well-connected New York business consultant introduced Frankel to various movers and shakers who Frankel hoped would add legitimacy to the St. Francis foundation. It soon attracted investments from major church groups but eventually he was forced to flee when authorities intervened.

While eleven insurance companies in five states were horrified to learn of the missing assets, so were some prominent people whose names had been attached to the charity without their permission.

Retired CBS newsman Walter Cronkite said he was contacted by an old friend, a priest living in Rome, and asked to become a member of the St. Francis Foundation's advisory board. It was described as a new organization that was being founded to aid charities involving children, health and education.

Cronkite said he refused, mainly because he was already busy with several other charities. Former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca was also listed, although he, too, withheld giving his permission. After Frankel disappeared, Cronkite learned that despite his refusal, his name had been listed as a member of the board on the foundation's mission statement. "Anybody who says he's got a billion dollars and is willing to give it away is likely to attract an awful lot of people," said Cronkite.

Monsignor Emilio Colagiovanni, 82, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to launder money.while assisting Frankel in using the Saint Francis of Assisi Foundation to acquire insurance companies, while concealing Frankel's involvement, according to a complaint which charges both wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

The monsignor said in his statement that the plan was for Mr. Frankel to deposit $50 million into the Monitor Ecclesiasticus Foundation's bank account. The money would then be transferred to Saint Francis and Mr. Frankel would donate an additional $5 million to Monitor Ecclesiasticus or other organizations it designated. Mr. Frankel never transferred any of that money, but eventually gave Msgr. Colagiovanni $40,000, which he deposited in Monitor Ecclesiasticus's account at the Vatican bank.

Saint Francis never ended up acquiring any insurers, in part because regulators became suspicious about the foundation.  Insurance companies and regulators were led to believe that the source of the foundation's funds were the Holy See and other Catholic entities when Frankel was the actual source.

A state initiated lawsuit says the Vatican was associated with the fraud through the actions of Colagiovanni in his role as a senior member of the Vatican government, and that other senior Vatican officials knew of the schemes but did not act to stop them, so they are seeking the $200 million-plus the amount U.S. insurance companies lost.

Frankel was to give $55 million to the Vatican as a charitable foundation whereby the Vatican would keep $5 million and Frankel would retain control over the remaining $50 million.

While the Vatican never received funds from the foundations nor furnished any from the $200 million, under the racketeering law, a party involved in the conspiracy is responsible for the entire amount stolen. A Vatican spokesman said Colagiovanni was a retired priest at the time of the alleged scheme and was acting "as a private Italian citizen." 

Frankel, 47, after pleading guilty to 24 federal charges including racketeering, securities fraud and conspiracy could face a sentence of 150 years in jail and $6.5m in fines.  Prosecutors have said they will back a lower penalty if he helps recover some of the stolen funds beyond the $70 million already recovered.  Seven other people have entered guilty pleas in the case. Three of Mr. Frankel's associates are expected to face trial early next year.

12/04 - A former powerhouse fund-raiser for the Republican party and the Catholic church pleaded guilty yesterday to taking part in financier Martin Frankel's scheme to loot insurance companies in five states.

Thomas Bolan, 80, a lawyer of New York City, introduced Frankel to high-ranking church officials and helped him run a phony Roman Catholic foundation used to hide the plot.

For more on Martin Frankel:

So a famour TV person, Walter Cronkite, the Vatican, a fund-raiser for GOP and the Cathilic church were either used by name without consent, or helped the swindler.

So, be sure what you are involved in and don't just take anyone's word. Read the terms of service ask questions and for facts to back up what is stated. Get proof. The last thing you want is your name to be involved in a court investigation.

Kenneth R Sword Jr

Mary Hofstetter

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Re: Examples of Ponzi Scheme Fraudulent Investments ... included the Vatican
9/3/2007 6:21:01 AM
Hi Kenneth, This is a very good article. Yes, shaddy deals can look good if you see certain names attatched to it. I have seen it here in Adlandpro also. If a high profile name is either recruited or GIVEN the program it gives the program site a big boost. To my knowledge no one's names has been used without their permission. People given a business don't realized their good name is being used instead of "I like you so much, I'll pay your way in". My advice is don't accept a free business, you are being used. Don't let flattery suck you in. In real life I have seen some shady characters announce to the public that they are a member of XXXXXXXXXX orgianization or have donated $$$$$$$$$ to a cause. Politicians and political figuers use this as a means to let us all know that they are good guys. It all looks so good on their resume even tho they never attended any meetings, worked on any projects, or participated in activities. This is a good lesson on how to use people to better the image of a scoundrel. The internet is scary because participants don't answer to anyone and can close down a program and run anytime they want.
Re: Examples of Ponzi Scheme Fraudulent Investments ... included the Vatican
9/3/2007 10:29:56 AM


Excellent information by Mary and Yourself that should be read by all AP members.

There is another thing we need to keep our eyes open for and always do our due diligence before joining marketing programs.

I am sure you have seen programs that will advertise that they will be headed up by a certain Marketing Guru that has built large organizations and made millions of dollars.  It always seems that they are coming out of retirement to head up a program.

Many times the programs they were heading up may have been programs that were set up with compensation plans that rewarded the Company and Heavy Hitters at the expense of the part time marketers that were trying to build a business.

What a person needs to do before they jump into a program is to ask a lot of questions, and do a lot of investigating on any company that the Guru was in before this latest one.  Many times these Marketing Gurus specialize in Start Up Companies that specialize in money being made in the recruiting end of the program and not on the monthly residual end of the program.


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Neil Sperling

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Re: Examples of Ponzi Scheme Fraudulent Investments ... included the Vatican
9/3/2007 10:36:15 AM

Great Job

Many more turths are unveiled in this "How Money Is Created" forum thread in my business tips forum.... FREE links to some very informative audios everyone should listen to to get a better picture of control and manipulation at work in the monetary system


Robin McLean

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Re: Examples of Ponzi Scheme Fraudulent Investments ... included the Vatican
9/3/2007 11:55:40 AM
Hi, Kenneth, This article is just more proof that there all sorts of wolves lurking around, out there, in sheep's clothing... on and off the internet. They are businessmen and women, clergy, neighbors, doctors, lawyers, teachers, cashiers, and even family members! All only interested in the "quick buck", and in a world where the thirst for money, power, and material things, is ever increasing... these types of schemes, scams, and shady dealings are becoming, to say the least, all too common! Miracles & Blessings, Robin
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