A Lesson in Due Diligence
Realtor Steals $20 MM from CA Investors in Real Estate Ponzi Scheme
California real estate agent, Aldo Joseph Baccala of Petaluma, offered 12% yields to investors in a real estate ponzi scheme stretching out over 20 years. Promising returns from actual real estate investments, Baccala instead invested the funds in the stock market. Some of the real estate investments Baccala advertised to his investors included assisted living property purchases, farms, loans to mobile home buyers, etc. However none of these real estate investment opportunities were ever made. When Baccala sent out a letter to investors stating that payments would cease, authorities finally uncovered the 20 year ponzi scheme. Baccala defrauded over 50 family members and friends out of between $15 MM to $20 MM. Baccala was sentenced to 8 years in prison for his crime.
“The scale and scope of this man’s fraud on unsuspecting investors is staggering,” said District Attorney Jill Ravitchin. “That so many of his victims lost their livelihoods, their homes and their retirement savings, to this man’s scheming and greed is beyond tragic.”
The lesson here is that you need to research before you invest. I spend a lot of time screening offers and people who want to speak to our group. That is part of what I am here for. I hope this guy ends up in a landfill somewhere.
(July 2014 Newsletter)