Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yet another Ponzi scheme alleged in Encinitas

Again?  Is Encinitas the Ponzi capital of America?

First there was Scott Bottolfson.  Then there was John Clement's EdgeFund.

And now Steven Hamilton:

This case involves three fraudulent investment Ponzi schemes operated by Steven Hamilton through three companies he owned and controlled, Covenant, Verde, and Verde FX.

From 2007 through January 2011, Hamilton solicited investors through the Internet and direct solicitation.  He represented that Covenant investors were investing in real estate loans secured by deeds of  trust, that Verde investors were investing in either real estate loans secured by deeds of  trust, or certificates of deposit, and that Verde FX investors were pooling their money to invest in the construction of  a new FedEx distribution facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hamilton's representations to investors were materially misleading. In reality, Hamilton never invested any investor money in real estate loans secured by deeds of trust or certificates of deposit or in the construction of a new FedEx distribution facility in Nevada. Instead, Hamilton used the money he raised from these three fraudulent offerings to pay his personal living expenses. In order to perpetuate his scheme, and to make his purported investments appear successful, Hamilton also used a portion of the monies he raised to pay fictitious returns to investors when, in fact, his investments were non-existent and he was simply using investors' monies to pay other investors. In all, Hamilton raised approximately $1.6 million from at least 23 investors through his fraudulent offerings.


  1. Horrifying! But thanks for keeping us informed. We had the experience of a developer defrauding members of our community, who invested in Signatures Series, Inc., out of $7 million dollars, not including money wasted on attorney fees, and "collateral damage." Complaints were made to the Real Estate Board and the DA. After a year, no action was taken. Then the company went bankrupt, robbing vendors, contractors, "friends" and neighbors of their investments. Lies were told. People were far too trusting.

    The DA has "discretion" to enforce the laws, or not. She picks and chooses, to the general public's detriment.

    1. I'm no fan of Dumanis- I'd love to hear more details.