If you needed further proof that the scam pioneered by Charles Ponzi whose birthday was just three days ago still lives, the guilty plea of Troy Wragg in federal court on various fraud charges including securities fraud and conspiracy is proof that Ponzi schemes are still a scam of choice for many modern day scammers.
Wragg founded Mantria Corp, which he touted as being the next Microsoft, promising investors to make them rich through the company’s innovative energy saving technology coupled with green real estate development. Investors were lured to invest in Mantria through “Speed of Wealth” seminars promising profits of as much as 484%.
Unfortunately, the company was a failure and when it began to have financial problems, Wragg turned it into a Ponzi scheme by which he paid early investors with the money from later investors, all the while keeping sizable amounts of the money for himself.
Among the many red flags that this was a Ponzi scheme is the promise of huge profits with little or no risk. As always, if it looks to good to be true, it generally is not true. In addition, no one should ever invest in anything that they do not fully understand. If investors had done their research on the complicated environmental technology that Wragg told them he had, they would have found many problems. As for the real estate part of Mantria, if investors had looked into the real estate owned by Mantria, they would have found that the land did not have access to potable water and was littered with unexploded artillery shells from its previous use as a military firing range.
Never invest in anything until you have thoroughly researched the people offering the investment and the investment itself.