5 Signs Your Surefire Hedge Fund Investment Is A Ponzi Scheme

Jan 2 2015 | 6:25am ET

3. The investment is offered only because of your religion or membership in a group, club, or family.

James Lewis, who ran a Ponzi scheme for 20 years through his Financial Advisory Consultants in Lake Forest, California, relied on word of mouth to attract investors, many of whom were fellow Mormons whom he met through the church.

Sarah Howe's fund was open only to women.

Bernie Madoff relied on investors to refer friends and relatives. He also attracted investors through private clubs—at least six committee members of the Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase, New York, were on the list of his clients.

Angela Dawn Campbell preyed on fellow churchgoers and art class acquaintances.

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