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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
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$20 Million Ponzi in L.A., SEC Says

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The SEC obtained an emergency order to stop a $20 million Ponzi scam that invited suckers to meetings at country clubs and banquet halls, then promised 11 percent returns on "Turkish Eurobonds," federal prosecutors say. The SEC says Francois Durmaz and Robert Pribilski preyed on retirees through USA Retirement Management Services, with offices in Irvine, Los Angeles, and Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

Durmaz, aka Mahmut Durmaz, 39, of Los Angeles, was charged with passing bad checks in 1998, was fired by New York Life Securities in 2002 for "failing to timely repay a debit against his commission ledger," was fined for violating Illinois securities law in 2009, and is not registered with the SEC in any capacity, the agency says.

Pribilski, 51, of Lisle, Ill., is not registered with the SEC and holds no securities licenses.

USA Retirement Management Services claims to provide "estate and financial planning," but also sells promissory notes, the SEC says. Neither the company nor its securities are registered with the SEC.

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