John Mattera offered a great deal to his investors. Through special-purpose investment vehicles, investors could buy shares in well-known companies like Facebook and Groupon, which were then privately-owned. When the companies went public, investors would reap millions.
Mattera raised more than $13 million from more than 140 investors, some of whom invested their life savings.
The only problem was that Mattera didn’t use the money to buy shares in Facebook or Groupon. Instead, he used the money for the normal trappings of ill-gotten wealth, including a waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale, two Rolls-Royces, and a Lamborghini, according to the government.
Mattera was caught and sentenced to 11 years in prison. But his investors aren’t getting their money back.
Bernie Madoff, John Mattera. . . .there is no shortage of people trying to steal your money through investment scams. Why are thieves attracted to the securities industry? As “Slick Willie” Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks, “Because that’s where the money is.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re smart, sophisticated, and have seen it all. Mattera’s investors thought they had seen it all, too.
Be careful out there.