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Alleged Investment Scams: A Scorecard

From Staff and Wire Services

Investment fraud, such as the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme that Bernard Madoff is accused of orchestrating, tends to flourish in boom times but come crashing down along with the markets. Here's a scorecard of some recent high-profile cases in which authorities have alleged fraud. None of the cases has been adjudicated.

R. Allen Stanford: The Securities & Exchange Commission on Feb. 17 charged the Texas-born billionaire with orchestrating an $8 billion fraud. Stanford Financial allegedly misled investors about the security of the high-yielding certificates of deposit sold by an offshore bank in Antigua that Stanford controls.

Nicholas Cosmo: The chief executive of Hauppauge (N.Y.)-based Agape World was arrested Jan. 26 and charged with running a Ponzi scheme that may have defrauded 1,500 investors of $370 million. Cosmo has been held in custody since his arrest.

Art Nadel: The Florida hedge fund manager is accused of bilking investors out of up to $350 million in what authorities describe as "at least a partial Ponzi scheme." Nadel disappeared on Jan. 14, but surrendered to authorities two weeks later. He is being held without bond.

B. Ramalinga Raju: On Jan. 7, Raju, chairman of Satyam Computer Services (SAY), confessed to having orchestrated a massive fraud at India's fourth-largest information technology services company. Raju allegedly falsified accounting and inflated earnings at the company, based in Hyderabad. He is in custody.

Bernard L. Madoff: Madoff was arrested Dec. 11, 2008, and charged with running a massive Ponzi scheme that could have cost investors up to $50 billion. Madoff, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman, is free on $10 million bail, but remains in his Manhattan apartment under house arrest.

Tom Petters: Petters, who ran investment companies in Minnetonka, Minn., was charged in October 2008 with running an alleged $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme that bilked investors. Authorities said the scheme ran from 1995 through September of last year. Petters is being held without bail.

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