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Carlsbad's Sunil Sharma was sentenced today (September 14) to 33 months in prison for running a Ponzi scheme. He had raised $8.36 million from 32 companies through his companies, Gold Coast Holding and Safe Harbor Tax Lien Acquisitions.

He told the investors he would put their money in diversified portfolios, managed by Wall Street's Goldman Sachs, that would invest in bonds of emerging markets Brazil, Russia, India, and China. (Actually, such bonds have not proved to be that safe.)

However, he was using investors' money to day-trade stock options — a very risky business. When his returns shrank, he began pulling a Ponzi, paying off early investors with funds from later ones. He put $700,000 of investor funds into a $2 million home and also diverted some to a Mediterranean cruise and leases on a Mercedes and a BMW.

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Comments

AlexClarke Sept. 15, 2015 @ 6:48 a.m.

No surprise here. Even the so called smart investors fell for his scam. One can only imagine what would happen if the investor class ever got hold of Social Security. Except for well managesd defined benefit plans those who think they will retire with "buckets of money" from their defined contribution plan will retire in poverty. Of course there will be a few lucky ones who are able to retire at just the right time but the rest will be lucky if they get their money back.

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Don Bauder Sept. 15, 2015 @ 6:54 a.m.

AlexClarke: I will take that a step further. I am one who would argue that, in essence, Social Security itself is a Ponzi scheme. Best, Don Bauder

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AlexClarke Sept. 16, 2015 @ 5:26 a.m.

Don. With all due respect and from the view of a DTD Social Security would be fine if the politicians had funded it properly. There should be means testing so that the Social Security payments went to those who is benefited the most. The Baby Boomers will tax the system for a while but they will, like all of us, die off. Social Security is and will be the only retirement the working class will ever have. All the non defined benefit plans are nothing more than a way to funnel money to Wall Street and keep if off Main Street.

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Don Bauder Sept. 16, 2015 @ 8:13 a.m.

AlexClarke: I agree that Social Security is all that many low-income workers will have for retirement. I am all for Social Security. But I still say, as operated now, it is a Ponzi scheme.

People are living much longer. The number of people paying into the system is insufficient to pay those retiring. I believe in Social Security. I just want it made solvent. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 16, 2015 @ 1:26 p.m.

Twister: You would ask me that. Means testing should make it progressive. The defense budget should be slashed so more money can be put into programs for the needy. (Now, it is the other way around. Programs for the needy are slashed so more can go into defense.) Let me think about other ways to save SS and Medicare. Best, Don Bauder

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AlexClarke Sept. 17, 2015 @ 5:57 a.m.

Don: Are you talking about defence that de Donald is talking about?

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Don Bauder Sept. 17, 2015 @ 6:47 a.m.

AlexClarke: No, not da fence to keep out immigrants. National defense. Too much of the federal budget is spent on that. Admittedly, though, San Diego benefits from this overkill. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 17, 2015 @ 8:44 a.m.

Defeat of de(Donald)duct went over defence before detail.

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Don Bauder Sept. 18, 2015 @ 7 p.m.

Twister: The master punster shows that he is adept at alliteration, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Sept. 19, 2015 @ 7:54 p.m.

Alieniteration? Sounds like a Trumped up charge to me . . .

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