(As a disclaimer, this database is meant for educational purposes only, and was compiled through articles published on Ponzitracker as well as through reporting available on the internet through various sources, including Kathy Phelps' monthly Ponzi roundups at ThePonziSchemeBlog.com. A special thanks to Alison Jimenez with Dynamic Securities Analytics for her assistance in visualizing the data. Individuals accused of Ponzi schemes are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The database generally only included Ponzi schemes of $1 million or more. Please feel free to direct any comments or inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org.)
2018 Ponzi Schemes
Continuing a downward trend, the number of Ponzi schemes uncovered in 2018 was the lowest in at least 10 years with 47 schemes reported. This was roughly 25% lower than the 62 schemes discovered in 2017. The average size of an uncovered Ponzi scheme in 2018 was $34.1 million and the median size was $6 million. Each of those figures is within the range seen in the past several years. The total investor funds involved in these schemes decreased to $1.597 billion, the lowest total since 2014.
The number of sentences handed out to those convicted for their role in Ponzi schemes in 2018 also hit a multi-year low, with 45 sentences handed down totaling nearly 540 years in prison. These figures were well below the figures in 2016 and 2017, which saw a significant spike likely due to the numerous prosecutions immediately following the financial crisis. It is much too soon to tell whether the corresponding drop in Ponzi scheme discoveries may signal a plateau in Ponzi scheme prosecutions, but the recent decrease at least suggests that the number of sentences will continue to drop as the various accused individuals work their way through the court system.The sentences ranged from mere months to decades in prison, with Tennessee woman Joyce Allen receiving a 30-year term for her role in a $20 million term.
A full database of uncovered Ponzi schemes and prison sentences for 2018 is below:
2018 Ponzi Scheme Sentences