If there's any truth to the government's allegations against David McQueen, holding on to his Fort Lauderdale condo would appear to be the least of his concerns. Federal authorities allege that McQueen, whose primary residence is near Grand Rapids, Michigan, defrauded investors by moving millions of dollars among multiple accounts and spending that money on himself and his wife.
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If McQueen is found to have committed fraud, the condo would be taken over by a receiver and sold, with the proceeds being split by the investor victims. Bad news for them: McQueen is alleged to have used $279,000 of their money to buy the condo, yet it's currently valued at just $195,000.
That happened in early December, just as the world was learning about Bernard Madoff. In fact, an article in the Grand Rapids Press suggests that McQueen's alleged investment scam became even more profitable after Madoff should have made investors more cautious.
An article in that paper last month quotes two families, the Pastoricks and Adamses, who were convinced by McQueen's father, Donald Juberg, to invest in a mysterious company they were told was in New Zealand:
Diversified Global Finance documents provided by the Pastoricks and Adamses don't describe the investments but ask applicants to select their preferred return.
Both couples checked the box "Silver Private Offering Account," which required a minimum $100,000 investment with "up to 12 percent" annual return.
In their conversations with Juberg, the Pastoricks and Adamses said they remember hearing a return of "12 percent a year" and that their money would be safe. The couples said the falling stock market at the end of 2008 and early this year sold them on making the investment.
"That (12 percent) was more than we ever got, and we thought that would help with our living expenses," Myrtle Adams said.
Investor documents list two addresses for Diversified Global Finance: an office in Auckland, New Zealand, and the rented mailbox in the Grandville Pak Mail store.
A message left with the company in New Zealand was not returned.
As you can see in other parts of the article, businesses formed to lure investors were not registered to sell securities. The alleged fraudsters didn't even bother to slap together a website. It's one thing to invest in what looks like a profitable opportunity. We all have our moments of greed. But to do that a time when so many "genius" money managers were being revealed as fraudsters and to throw all one's savings into those investments without bothering to check that they're registered with the state or in compliance with the SEC, that's just stupid.