It’s hard to believe, but there are people who sign on with a new financial advisor without bothering to do even the bare minimum due diligence. Consider the sad story of fraudster Janamjot Singh Sodhi who ran a Ponzi scheme promising high rates of return in a relatively short period of time.
Sodhi solicited and received funds from investors starting in 2005 and through the fall of 2011 despite the fact that
- The New York Stock Exchange permanently debarred him in January 2006, and
- The California Department of Corporation ordered Sodhi to cease and desist from dispensing investment advice in California.
Potential investors and soon-to-be victims could have easily learned about these serious redflags had they bothered to simply google “Janamjot Singh Sodhi”. Sodhi did not use an alias so the information and fraud was in plain sight.
“Forget about hiring an attorney or paying for a background check. If you just typed his name into Google you could find out that before he solicited you he was barred by the NYSE and threatened by the state of California. … People spend more time buying a used car for $2,000 than giving $10,000 or $1 million to someone they never met or checked out to invest.” This from Bill Singer, a lawyer who specializes in investor fraud.
Sodhi was sentenced to four years and nine months in jail and required to pay back the $2.4 million he stole from investors.