SEC Investigating Scam Aimed at Dentists

by Billy Tarpley on July 7, 2010

From the ADA:

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission requests your assistance with its ongoing investigation into an investment program targeting American dentists and involving sales of interests in fine wines. The SEC has information that an offshore company has been cold calling dentists to solicit these investments. Be aware that the SEC’s investigation does not mean that anyone has violated the law or that the SEC has a negative opinion of any particular investment, company, or person.

The company apparently describes the opportunity as more lucrative than investments in various stock indices and claims that the wine investment is guaranteed to grow in value as the underlying wine ages and becomes more rare. Dentists who express interest in the program are mailed promotional materials.

It then appears that, after making an initial investment, the company sends dentists a contract and invoice seeking payment of a much larger amount.

The contract and invoice describe the initial investment as merely a down payment and indicate that, if additional payment is not received, the investor will forfeit his original payment and lose the opportunity to complete the investment. If the investor makes the additional payment(s), he purportedly may instruct the company to sell his wine in the marketplace, which is how investors purportedly earn the high investment returns promised in the sales pitch.

If you have been solicited to invest in this program, the SEC asks that you contact its investigators, David Peavler (peavlerd@sec.gov) or Jessica Magee (mageej@sec.gov).

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