Another Ponzi schemer steals millions by writing his own report card

Peter Cohan

The Securities and Exchange Commission is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Ponzi schemes that have emerged over the last few years. It created the conditions that left huge opportunities for the ambitious and unscrupulous to dupe investors. And it shows no inclination to fix the problems. What I'm talking about -- as I've posted many times before -- is that unlike in school, where teachers write students' report cards, in money management, the managers grade themselves.

This huge flaw in our regulatory system comes to mind with the discovery of this latest little Ponzi scheme. In this one, as Fortune reports, a piece of Georgia trailer trash made his way north to Pennsylvania and wormed his way into the good graces of the old-money, polo-playing set south of Philadelphia. This character -- dubbed Tony Young -- then persuaded his new-found admirers to invest $120 million of their great-great-grandfathers' money with his company, Acorn Capital Management LLC. Of that, Young allegedly stole $23 million.

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