Boston – June 2, 2011 – Marquet International Ltd. announced today that it has released The Marquet Report On Ponzi Schemes – an in-depth study of major Ponzi-type investment fraud cases revealed in the United States since 2002. The study examined 329 Ponzi schemes with frauds greater than $1 million and analyzed characteristics within several broad categories related to this kind of white collar fraud:
- Characteristics of the Schemes
- Characteristics of the Perpetrators
- Judicial Consequences
The Marquet Report On Ponzi Schemes also includes practical tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
Some noteworthy findings from the study include:
- Ponzi case revelations have proliferated in the past three years;
- The median size Ponzi scheme was a $20 million fraud
- The average Ponzi scheme spanned a period of 5.3 years;
- The median annual rate of return promised by Ponzi schemers was 38%;
- The most common type of Ponzi scheme involved fraudulent hedge fund investments;
- Nearly 1 in 4 Ponzi schemes involve the use the affinity group targets;
- The most common affinity group were elderly or retired investors;
- Over 90 percent of major Ponzi schemes are perpetrated by men;
- The average adjusted age for Ponzi perpetrators was 45.7 years;
- More than 1 in 5 Ponzi schemes were perpetrated by senior citizens, 60 and over;
- More than 1 in 8 Ponzi scheme perpetrators has a prior history of fraud; and,
- Utah has one of the highest propensities for Ponzi scheme perpetration
“Since the Madoff debacle, increased awareness and enforcement has helped reveal numerous Ponzi-type investment frauds,” said Christopher T. Marquet, author of the report. “However, continued vigilance, investor skepticism and due diligence efforts are necessary to protect the investing public as much as any enforcement.”
“It is interesting to note that while we have found that the typical embezzler is increasingly female, the world of Ponzi schemes is dominated almost exclusively by men,” said Marquet. “We were also a little surprised by the number of senior citizen Ponzi schemers out there. We found that many of them prey on their own affinity group – the elderly and retired investors,” continued Marquet.
About Marquet International Ltd.
Marquet International is a boutique business investigations, due diligence, litigation support and security consulting firm based in Boston. Marquet International focuses on providing clients with strategic intelligence to make sound business decisions. Led by long-time industry expert, Christopher T. Marquet, the firm provides Corporate Intelligence & Due Diligence services in corporate transactions and to vet key personnel and business entities around the world. The firm also provides Litigation Support and Corporate Investigation services on behalf of general counsel and law firms representing clients in matters involving fraud, employee misconduct, intellectual property disputes, hostile takeovers, asset recovery, electronic evidence and forensic accounting. Finally, the firm provides a range of security consulting services. For more information, go to http://www.marquetinternational.com/.