The International Bank Trade That Was Too Good To Be True

May 14, 2013

I dunno what it is with some folks but once you roll out the words "international" and "bank" and talk in hush tones about a prime bank note or a trading platform -- well, it just seems that commonsense and all rational thought makes haste for the nearest window.  Frankly, after years of reporting about such absurd investment scams, I have largely given up writing detailed fact patterns about the intricacies of the scheme and the sweet talkin' of the scammers.  Try as I might, my warnings fall upon deaf ears.  In that spirit of resignation, I offer yet another iteration on the old fraud theme.

International Bank Trade

From 2004 through 2009, Robert Schroy and his co-conspirators solicited investors for a "international bank trade," a deal that not only promised the return of principal but, on top of that, a whopping  10 to 100% returns after a minimum of 25 weeks. Rather than placing wired investors' funds into this fantabulous investment, Schroy and his crew spent at least $1 million on the likes of automobiles, vacations, and restaurants. restaurants. In total, Schroy admitted that he had misappropriated at least $1 million in investor money.

In addition to apparently having had quite a time with other peoples' money, Schroy failed to file a 2007 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and failed to report $479,566 of taxable income, upon which an additional tax of $151,781 was owed to the Internal Revenue Service.  It just doesn't pay to screw around with the IRS.

Don't Bank On It

Alas, Schroy just didn't seem to think this all through.  On October 6, 2011, he pleaded guilty in federal court in Trenton, NJ to a criminal Information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. On May 14, 2013, Schroy, 68, Placentia, CA, was sentenced to 46 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,540,044 in restitution.

Bill Singer's Comment

BrokeAndBroker readers know that I warn against investing in so-called "investment platform" or "trading platform" deals; and I often sound the alarm about any deal involving an offshore bank that is offering an opportunity to invest in some impressive sounding paper, which is only made available to some middleman and involves billions of dollars but you only need to come up with a few hundred thousand.  

For some further guidance, read these past articles: