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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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Jenice Malecki is a highly successful securities law attorney. She is a brilliant strategist. She is a well respected litigator who knows how to win in court. As a former CEO and President of a public company traded on the NASDAQ (and currently a College President), I can attest, as a client, that Jenice Malecki's understanding of the law along with her business acumen and intellectual gravitas resulted in a 100% victory in my case before the Supreme Court of New York State. Jenice is a passionate and determined lawyer -- I want her in my corner -- anytime!​ Dr. John J. McGrath
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