Universities fall victim as more funds frozen over alleged fraud

Seems you can't throw a stick these days without hitting a a couple of smart-talking money guys exposed as big-time swindlers. Even "low risk" investments haven't been safe from these charlatains. Bowling Green University is the latest victim, having invested in a safe, low-risk vehicle with Westridge Capital management, run by two guys who,it's now been discovered, used the funds for their own high-rolling lifestyles.

Even though the university lost access to $15 million when the SEC froze the Westridge Capital Management funds; Carol Cartwright, president of BGSU, assured the campus community that there would be no short term impact on university operations, which is welcome news to the 21,000 students who attend the state school. But despite these assurances, there are sure to be tough times ahead as universities face increased enrollment and charitable giving challenges.

So what happened to the $545 million invested with Westridge? It seems to be the same old story of high priced homes, fancy cars and stuffed bears. That's right, on top of the usual purchases, Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh also allegedly spent client money on rare teddy bears. Let's hope they're soft, these two may need something to cuddle with before this is over!

It seems as if there's an investment fraud coming to light every week as the economy catches up to false promises and misdeeds. The net effect of these alleged schemes could prove disastrous as the number of victims grow. How many companies can survive an additional 10% drop in their investment portfolio? With the IRS already letting Ponzi scheme victims deduct 95% of their losses, perhaps we will see more federal money aimed at assisting investment fraud victims before 2009 is out.

Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.were also hit by the Westridge fund debacle.


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