HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 7 2004 – LAWFUEL – First with law news — Christmas is coming a little early this year to 96 Pennsylvania investors and 204 in other states and Australia in the form of one of the largest asset recoveries — $10.6 million — ever
made by a state securities regulator, the Pennsylvania Securities Commission
A. Richard Gerber, Commission Chairman, launched the refund today by
presenting a check to Nicholas Yoder of Christiana, PA, one of the investors
in Eagle Cash Management Account System and U.S. Estate Group, LLC. Other
checks will be mailed later this week.
“It is extremely unusual for anyone to recover funds for investors in
Ponzi schemes because the scam artists try as fast as they can to get the
money beyond the reach of the law – often to offshore bank accounts,” Gerber
said. “In this case, we obtained nine cents on the dime in restitution to
investors because of quick action on the part of the staff of the Pennsylvania
Securities Commission and the Montgomery County bench.”
Chief Counsel Michael J. Byrne said Commission staff discovered an Eagle
Cash internet ad promising investors a 24 percent annual return. It sounded
too good to be true, and it was, Byrne said. The internet advertisement
appealed to senior citizens claiming Eagle Cash was a great way to supplement
Social Security. It also said families could invest in Eagle Cash for college
The Commission issued a Summary Cease and Desist Order in late 1999 and
located in excess of $6 million on deposit in a Montgomery County bank. At
the Commission’s request, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge William
T. Nicholas issued an order to freeze the funds and, on February 14, 2000,
Judge Calvin S. Drayer, Jr., appointed Frederic M. Wentz, Esq., as trustee.
In the meantime, the Commission located an additional $4 million for return to
investors and pursued commissioned sales agents for Eagle Cash to disgorge
commissions which had been illegally paid to them.
Yoder received a check for almost $70,000, compared to the $75,000 he
invested. Wentz said checks will be mailed this week to other investors,
primarily in Delaware, Florida and New Jersey.