Just this past week, it was reported that Hall of Fame Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway lost millions in an alleged Ponzi Scheme.
Michael Goldberg, an attorney with Akerman Senterfitt in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a court-appointed receiver for several Ponzi schemes. He is responsible for liquidating remaining assets and overseeing a claims process to distribute any remaining or recovered funds to investors.
Unwinding a Ponzi scheme and returning funds to investors is a long and difficult process, says Goldberg. "Some people get no money back, some get it all, but it can take upwards of 10 years."
How does one avoid getting caught in a Ponzi scheme? "Ask yourself, is it too good to be true," says Goldberg. "Someone can not continuously beat the market return year after year for 20 years in a row." If you suspect you are in one, call the Securities and Exchange Commission, he says. "They can tell pretty quickly."