Jones Brendan Woods 991 303 007 October-04-12 SOCS10261G Scams Frauds Identity Theft Crimes of Deception in the Information Age – Term 1129, Class 75036 Earl Jones and the Ponzi Tragedy Finances affect everyone’s life and the choices they make, increases and decreases of money are happing all around us in all of our everyday lives. There are several ways people make their income and people are satisfied with what they have, so we develop ways in order to gain more income and pleasure this need for money. There are many legal ways to do so, unfortunately for several people Earl Jones did not choose a legal path in obtaining his finances.
Mr. Jones used an investment fraud referred to as the Ponzi scheme. It’s a scheme made famous in 1920 by a man names Charles Ponzi, although he wasn’t the inventor of this plan, he was just the first man to take so much money that it became popular all across the United States of America. The scheme works by promising investors abnormally high returns, but then not invest their money and just pay the client and himself dividends with the original investment. Bertram Earl Jones, known as Earl Jones was born on June 24th in the year 1942 in Montreal Quebec.
Jones “grew up in the tightly knit, modest neighbourhood called Notre-Dame-de-Grace, the youngest of four children. Harming, warm and generous, he commanded loyalty throughout the neighbourhood “(Gartner, 2010). In his early twenties he landed his first job at the Montreal Trust Company where he became experienced in all the following: investment management, estates and trust administration, will planning and manager of the mortgage department. With this knowledge he felt that he was ready to begin his own investment advisory company, although he was not registered by law.
He went on to scam 50 million dollars from 150 clients before being caught. Mr. Jones became extremely wealthy very quickly when he began running his own investment advisory. All of his wealth came greatly from a very successful Ponzi scheme that went on to last just over 2 decades. The success of Earl’s scheme was mainly because of his original target group. Earl Jones went after the money of the people that were the closest to him. Friends he grew up with, hockey team mates, co-workers and even his own family were all victims of his greedy investment fraud.
This is why his scheme was so successful, as a reporter points out to him during an interview “Most of the clients that we’ve talked to seem to say that they had a very friendly relationship with you, that, in certain instances, they considered you as part of their family” (Passaretti, 2010). Once Earl felt he wasn’t making enough money off of just his friends and family he decided to target a new group, that consisted of wealthy elderly people that he knew would have a larger retirement savings and also would be easy to win over. “And the little old lady wins.
With a payment of $17 million, the Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to settle the Earl Jones case – and thus avoid a trial in a class-action lawsuit by the victims of the convicted scam artist. The offer has been accepted by the victims, the vast majority of whom are seniors. ”(Sutherland, 2012) Indirectly millions of people are and forever will be affected by Earl Jones. Any investor or proprietor trying to make a difference on their own will have restrictions because so many people are now aware and afraid of falling victim to the Ponzi scheme.
Earl Jones had 150 people who were victim to his Ponzi scheme; Of course these people and their close friends and family were directly affected from losing all of their money and savings. The impact Earl had on his victims was crucial, “He can rot in hell, none of us will ever be the same,” said (Brother of Earl Jones) Bevan Jones who, along with his wife Frances Gordon, was fleeced out of $1 million by his brother. Jones said he would never forgive him for what he’d done. To say the least these victims will never get over this and they feel the 11 years in prison punishment for Earl isn’t just. He ruins 100 lives and he’ll be out on the street. I feel stunned. I’m still numb, and the justice system is incomprehensible. That man is a thief. ” (Victim, Wendy Nelles, 2010). Criminal Bernard Madoff who used a similar Ponzi scheme to scam thousands of investors out of several billions of dollars, Earl only received a slap on the wrist compared to Madoffs life in prison sentence. The argument the public has with this is, they both ruined many lives and they were well aware of what they were doing so why are punishments different just because Madoff was a little more successful.
Earl Jones chose to do this Ponzi scheme on the sociological theory of being an individual against other individuals. Not only did he succeed at gaining millions of dollars for himself, he also very easily took this money from the people who were the closest to him and trusted him the most. Bertram Earl Jones was a bad man who hurt many of the people who were closest to him. He came from a good place with people all around him who loved him, and he used those people for the better of himself.
His Ponzi scandal will never be forgotten and it will help our society and government be more aware of any similar actions that ever happen and we will be able to stop them before to many people get hurt. Punishment may or may not of been suitable for his crimes but none the less justice has been served and Earl Jones will pay for his selfish greed. Bibliography Watson, T. (2010, May 10). Jones victims won’t go quietly. Canadian Business, 83, 20-20. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/221380480? accountid=3455 Patriquin, M. (2009, Aug 03). We trusted him’. Maclean’s, 122, 42-43. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/218590564? accountid=3455 Good News/Bad news. (2012, Mar 19). Maclean’s, 125, 19-19. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/954658622? accountid=3455 Watson, T. (2010, Jan 18). Saints & sinners. Canadian Business, 82, 28-29. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/221356301? accountid=3455 Andrew, C. B. (2010). Canada update-highlights of major legal news and significant court cases from january 2010 through april 2010.
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