Otherwise the investors were really, really dumb.
Baldwin Anderson was a salesman for a New York “boiler room” and misled investors into paying for phony stock tips and investment advice, a federal prosecutor told jurors at the start of his criminal trial in Brooklyn.
Anderson, 57, helped Gryphon Holdings Inc. defraud investors out of $20 million, prosecutors said. Gryphon told victims its office was on Wall Street or even in the New York Stock Exchange when it was in a strip mall in the New York borough of Staten Island, according to Baldwin’s indictment.
“The defendant worked in what is known as a boiler room,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame told jurors in his opening statement today in federal court. “The evidence is going to show that the defendant lied about what Gryphon was and who worked there.”
Anderson is the only defendant out of 18 charged in the case to go to trial. The rest pleaded guilty.
Kenneth Marsh, 44, who ran Gryphon, was the last to plead, admitting his guilt in the scheme on April 14. He’s scheduled to be sentenced July 12.
Anderson made about $843,000 in two years working at Gryphon, according to a related civil lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“He never lied to anybody, he never intentionally misled anybody and he never tried to defraud anybody,” Michael Padden, Anderson’s lawyer, told jurors in his opening statement. “What he thought he was selling was a legitimate product.”Other than the guy's name, and c.v.... Oh yeah, the Soros Connection.
Gryphon charged clients as little as $99 and as much as $250,000 for access to its investment recommendations, according the SEC suit. Clients often lost money on trades suggested by Gryphon, the SEC said.
The government’s criminal case against Anderson will include testimony from 14 victims, according to court papers. U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein is presiding over the trial.
The Gryphon scheme lasted from 2005 to 2010, according to the indictment. The company falsely claimed to have a trading desk and a $1.4 billion hedge fund, the government said.
Burlingame, the prosecutor, told jurors that Gryphon’s sales force, which Anderson was a part of, lied to potential investors about Marsh’s name, educational background and career history, and didn’t tell them that he’d been barred from the securities industry....MORE
[sounds like a Ludlum novel -ed]
From last December's "The Mob on Wall Street (again)":
"...Props from George Soros, who is quoted as saying: “Alone, the Gryphon Financial are incredible, together they are unstoppable.”