Lu is a specialist in retirement products and custom insurance services. She holds a Bachelors in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Mindanao State University, Philippines. She was a Full State Scholar and graduated Cum Laude.Lu spent over twenty years in senior corporate management positions, before finding her passion helping retirees and pre-retirees. Since 2000, she has been providing her Chicagoland area clients with expert guidance and valuable financial solutions. She offers an extensive menu of services to meet their needs in all different stages of life. Her company, First Fidelity, LLC, provides a variety of insurance services and income planning strategies. She strives to help her clients protect their assets and secure their well-earned retirement in all economic environments.
SIDE BAR: Along with that issue about how a team is only one person, I'm also sort of wrestling with the difference between a retiree and a post-retiree. If I retire, then I become a retiree, right? After I retire and am a retiree, how do I achieve that post-retiree status for which Zamoras has a passion? The difference between being retired and post-retired is what exactly? Sort of strikes me as the difference between being dead and post-dead. Of course, I am so looking forward to my retirement when I will clip on my suspenders and also cinch my white vinyl belt just below my chest as I wear my Hawaiian shirt, Bermuda shorts, black socks, and sandals to the Early Bird Special at the local all-you-can-eat buffet. Any of you know if post-retirees can cut ahead of those young 'uns who are merely newbie retirees?
16. Zamoras is originally from the Philippines and has built a clientele that includes primarily elderly Filipino-Americans. Her grasp of the Filipino language and culture allowed her to win the trust of numerous clients, forming an especially strong bond with those who purchased the fraudulent promissory notes in this matter.17. Zamoras met many of her clients through free lunch investment seminars sponsored by First Fidelity. Zamoras' investors are unsophisticated with little prior investment experience. Many are first generation immigrants who have worked their entire life to save for their retirement.
19. Most IRA custodians are banks or broker-dealers that limit the holdings in IRA accounts to firm-approved traditional investments. In contrast, APS, which formerly was a self-directed IRA custodian, gives account owners the freedom to invest in anything consistent with applicable IRS rules and regulations, including promissory notes.20. The clients that purchased promissory notes from Zamoras had not heard of APS until Zamoras made the recommendation that they roll their retirement funds over to APS.21. Zamoras then encouraged her clients to transfer their retirement funds, previously invested in stable insurance products through First Fidelity, to APS.
28. Indeed, several of the investors actually understood that their funds would remain at APS and would safely earn the promised interest rate, not appreciating what a self-directed IRA account was and that APS was not an insurance company or other interest-paying entity.29. After signing the promissory notes, Zamoras instructed APS to wire investor funds to her personal accounts at various national banks. Zamoras is the only authorized signor on those accounts.30. Once the funds arrived in her personal account, Zamoras used the investor funds for gambling or to pay her personal expenses.31. Between October 2011 and March 2013, Zamoras withdrew over $1 million from her bank accounts at various casinos. Zamoras' investors were a substantial source of her gambling funds.32. Although Zamoras lost all investor funds, the clients continued to receive statements from APS showing the promissory notes held in the account at their original face value. This led the investors to believe that their funds were still safe and secure.33. Zamoras led her investors to understand that their funds were in a safe, secure investment program and that APS would hold the funds. She did not tell investors she planned to immediately transfer their funds to her personal account and use their money for personal expenses and gambling. Investors would not have invested with Zamoras had they known she was simply going to gamble with their retirement funds.34. Little, if any, investor funds were ever invested by Zamoras.35. Investors told Zamoras that their funds were essential to fund their retirement. Many investors told Zamoras that these funds represented their life savings and they could not afford to take any risk.36. As described above, Zamoras's investors are all unsophisticated investors with little prior investment experience. Many are first generation immigrants who have worked their entire life to save for their retirement and are now left with nothing.
The SEC charged Zamoras with violating Sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5(a) and (c) thereunder. The SEC is seeking against Zamoras injunctive relief, disgorgement, prejudgment interest and a civil penalty.Bill Singer's CommentCompliments to the SEC for drafting a complaint replete with sufficient content and context to render the document compelling. If the allegations are proven true, this is a shameful affinity fraud and should serve as a chilling reminder to those public investors who make investment decisions based upon what they perceive to be a common interest or attribute with a so-called financial professional. Just because someone speaks your language, comes from your hometown, go to your church, or coaches your kids' soccer team is not enough justification to trust that person with your life savings. When it comes to your life savings, maybe you really can't and shouldn't trust anyone.