The Bernard Madof case is probably the best known ponzi fraudster to be convicted before the formation of the StopFraud International consortium. Madoff’s 150 year sentence shook the world. The Pidgeon King fraud which shook Canada ran from 2001 to 2008 before it imploded and the perpetrator was sentenced
The StopFraud consortium improved ways for law enforcers to work together to make it easier to prosecute and punish those who perpetrate financial crimes. The first conviction made with the aid of the newly formed International consortium was the case of Trevor Cook who lived the high life but convinced his followers that he was a devout Christian helping the little man earn from financial opportunities which were previously only available to the super rich.
Trevor Cook had cashed in on the craze for autosurfing which had seemed like a harmless money game where individuals could get paid to view advertisements, Players were invited to click and view a number of Internet advertisements each day and earn commission. It seemed like harmless fun and many were deceived into believing it was a harmless money game.
It took a further two years for the new enforcers to convict Cook’s associate Jason Bo-Alan Beckman as an accomplice but Beckman had also been running an autosurf game and he was unable to hide his part in the Trevor Cook operation. Beckman was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison on 17 counts of wire and mail fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, four counts of money laundering, two counts of filing a false tax return, and one count of tax evasion.
A great deal of water has flowed under the bridge since those first convictions. The wheels of justice move slowly but they do move. Unfortunately methods employed by the fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated and it is increasingly difficult for people who are new to to financial schemes to recognise fake pictures and testimonials. However the history of Internet crime and ponzi systems is also developing at an unprecedented rate and there are very comprehensive records available for newcomers
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