ALLEGED PONZI SCHEME RAISED NEARLY $4 MILLION FROM VICTIMS
Today the Securities Department of the Montana State Auditorís office filed a Second Amended Notice of Proposed Agency Disciplinary Action against Missoula businessman, Shawn Swor, and Hamilton businessman Dan Two Feathers. The recent filing adds four new respondents: Eric Schultz, a Bozeman mortgage broker and his business Big Sky Equity, Inc., Terrence Paulin, a Florida resident and Andre Curtis, a Bermuda resident. The alleged fraud perpetrated by these respondents has international implications. One respondent, Andre Curtis, is a Bermuda resident. The alleged victims are from all across the United States, and involves unsuspecting intermediaries from Europe and South Africa. The recent filing alleges Swor and Two Feathers, along with the four new respondents, committed securities fraud against at least thirteen investors, duping them for nearly $4 million.
The alleged scheme involves the trading of U.S. Treasury zero coupon bonds, bonds that have had the interest aspect stripped away. Investors were told that a $100,000 investment would earn them at least $30,000 a week, with a total return on investment of over $5 million by the 40th week. Investors were instructed to wire funds to various brokerage firms located throughout the country and Bermuda. The Securities Department alleges that, instead of trading U.S. Treasury zero coupon bonds as promised, investorsí funds were deposited into accounts owned and controlled by Swor, Two Feathers, Curtis and Paulin or their companies and then wired offshore to a Swiss Bank. None of the investors have received any return on their investments.
While most of the alleged victims of the scheme are scattered throughout the country, several victims live in Montana. One victim, is a Missoula resident who invested $125,000 in the scheme. Additionally, the Securities Department alleges Schultz, who runs a business called Big Sky Equity, Inc., solicited $740,000 from six Montana individuals and invested a portion of their money in the scheme. The Securities Department also alleges Schultz solicited an Illinois man and his company, to invest nearly $2 million in the scheme. The Securities Department alleges that none of the respondents, including Schulz is registered to offer or sell securities in Montana.
The Securities Department filing alleges multiple counts of fraud, unethical and dishonest practices, as well as selling unregistered securities and conducting securities business in Montana while not properly registered to do so. To date, the Securities Department has sought and has been granted four District Court Injunctions, freezing assets in accounts used by Swor, Two Feathers, Paulin and Curtis and their companies to operate the alleged scheme.
Montanans who may have been solicited by or have invested with Shawn Swor, Dan Two Feathers, Eric Schultz, Terrence Paulin or Andre Curtis are asked to immediately notify the State Auditor's Office by calling toll-free at 1-800-332-6148 or in Helena at (406) 444-2040.