A year after Madoff, another Ponzi schemer


It's hard to believe, but a year has passed since Bernard Madoff admitted to his sons that his financial empire was built on an elaborate scam. In the ensuing months, Madoff has inspired an ongoing lesson in banking scandals, as the media has reported on his conviction and sentencing, the auction of his possessions and the accusations of his alleged lovers. Ironically, on the first anniversary of history's biggest Ponzi scheme, yet another massive money scam has come to light.

On December 22, 2008, as the country was caught in the first flush of Madoff mania, 32-year old Genadi Yagodayev opened his own investment company, Rockford Funding Group LLC. Located at 80 Broad Street, in New York's financial district, Rockford claimed to be a "leading private equity firm" with $800 million in investments. Offering "fixed dividend accounts" with returns of up to 21%, Yagodayev used cold calls and his website to attract customers who were receiving structured settlements from personal injury and malpractice suits.