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History of Ponzi Schemes: Boston

Largely known as a “college town,” Boston is one of the largest and most influential economies in the world. Unfortunately, large economies, like Boston, can attract fraudsters, seeking to line their pockets with the hard-earned money of others.

Historically one of the first known Ponzi schemers and money swindlers in the 1920s, Charles Ponzi is closely associated with the city of Boston. It has been reported that Federal prosecutors have recently charged two Massachusetts residents for allegedly running a $15 million scam preying on about 1,400 Spanish and Portuguese speaking investors worldwide. The widely reported case of the infamous West Roxbury family and Steven Palladino who allegedly drained $10 million from 42 victims to finance their lavish lifestyle continues to make headlines today.

In 2019, the SEC halted embezzlement and unlawful securities offerings by a Massachusetts based individual that violated anti-fraud provisions in place under his investment advisory businesses. For over two years Eric Lyons allegedly worked with other investment structures that he created namely, Synchrony, to embezzle holdings and capital from hedge funds in this scheme. Reportedly, Lyons shifted funds from multiple advisor institutions that Lyons himself had control over which funded most of his personal luxuries. In order to replace the capital that was being embezzled, Lyons supposedly dishonestly persuaded an investor to invest over $300,000 dollars based on erroneous financial statements. He purportedly lured investors by providing a misleading company value estimate amounting to almost $100,000,000. Through these schemes, Lyons fabricated entities earned him reportedly over $700,000 in tainted capital. The District Court of Massachusetts charged Lyons as well as his multiple investment advisor establishments under the name Synchrony for breaching Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1), 206(2), and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act. The SEC is presumably pursuing an asset freeze, disgorgement, interest, penalties, injunctive relief and a restraining order to prevent further fraudulent behavior.

Thousands of people across various demographic communities, geographies, and income levels are at risk of falling prey to one of these fraudulent financial schemes.

Peter Szatmari and David Sechovicz were in an alleged scheme that involved misleading information that persuaded investors to trade securities and open brokerage accounts referred to as a binary account. A binary account is a financial product where an investor can receive a payout or lose their investment depending on whether the “option” that is in place expires. Reportedly, Szarmari and Sechovicz fabricated numerous marketing content, advertisements and emails as they were falsely functioning as affiliate marketers in which they subjected investors to potential fraud. Through fraudulent videos with purportedly misleading information that depicts those supposedly invested in the binary option living luxurious lifestyles and how tradition balances will increase if one invests in this scheme. According to the SEC report, these videos were entirely false and simply lured investors into the scheme where thousands of dollars were unlawfully accumulated. Szatmari and Sechovicz are in violation of the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 of Section 5 of the Securities Act. Sechovicz allegedly agreed to pay over $2,000,000 in penalties, disgorgement and interest without admitting the charges and allegations in the stated complaint. These settlements are waiting on court approval. These type of cases severely expose everyday citizens to fraud as they are fed with misleading information.

Malecki Law has been representing clients for two decades to ensure that clients interests are protected. Jenice Malecki is repeatedly cited in various articles and publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes and Newsweek. Malecki Law has excelled in cases related to securities fraud, mediations, whistleblower representation, regulatory complaints and negotiations.

To schedule a free initial consultation with Malecki Law, please call (212) 943-1233, or email

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Client Reviews
Jenice Malecki, is one of the most helpful individuals Ive had the pleasure of speaking with. She is super knowledgeable. She helped me navigate the ever changing world of securities law. You will find her understanding of complex matters helpful and insightful. She is straightforward and candid. She makes your options easy to understand. I would recommend her without any hesitation. 10/5 stars! Enrique Tiburcio
I highly recommend Jenice and her team for any securities matters. She is a true professional and a pleasure to work with. She responds quickly to emails and listens to your concerns/questions. Jenice makes sure you're always informed and in the know about your case. Great experience and also very fairly priced! Jeff
An excellent professional who represented us in trial regarding a bank fraud, an unexpected and difficult time. A professional that worked hard, persevering and who stood toe to toe against firms that had a team of excellent lawyers backing them up. Her unflinching determination really stands out, it makes you feel you have someone who really cares about trying to recover what you lost from the people that wronged you. Salomon Levi
It is difficult to thank you in words when gratitude comes from the heart, so I will try to link feelings with writing. It is essential for us to mention your excellence as a professional, your aptitude on legal fields, and your unavoidable persistence. All of these virtues that elevate the profession you exercise in such an admirable way, go hand in hand with your sense of ethics, your human warmth and the transparency in your actions. To sum up, thank you for being a listening ear and for having the right word while transmitting information about the legal process. Having you as our representative during such an adverse situation was a privilege and enough reason for our eternal gratitude. Angeles Aparain
To say that my securities litigation was complex would be a severe understatement. With multiple parties involved and spanning many years, trying to understand the issues was daunting to say the least. Jenice and her team broke down the transactions by segment and by party uncovering every hidden expense. In the end, I was more than happy and could not thank Jenice and her team enough. I would not hesitate to recommend Jenice to anyone. She is highly professional, incredibly knowledgeable, well connected to industry experts, has a tireless work ethic and is so pleasant and easy to communicate with. Five stars for sure! Andrew Loughrane