Deceased Former AARP President Ran Ponzi Scheme
The SEC charged a former President of the South Florida AARP with running an offshore Ponzi scheme that took in at least $4.6 million from dozens of investors.
Joseph Laurer founded Abatement Corp. Holding Company Limited in 1994 in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a series of tropical islands in the southeast Bahamas island chain. During the ten-year period from 2004 until Laurer's death in May 2014, approximately 50 people invested at least $4.6 million with Laurer and Abatement Corp. Laurer told his clients that their funds would be invested in risk-free and tax-free corporate and government bonds with annual returns ranging from 4% to 6%, and the investments were guaranteed through the FDIC or the SIPC. That claim was false because neither the FDIC nor SIPC guaranteed the investments.
Moreover, Abatement Corp. did not invest in the bonds as Laurer had represented. Abatement stopped investing in 2007 and relied entirely on investor funds to pay "returns" to existing investors. Investor funds also were diverted to Laurer and his wife for their lavish lifestyle as well as for payment of premiums on a $500,000 life insurance policy.
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