URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Legisi Ponzi-Scheme Pitchman Matthew J. Gagnon Ordered To Pay More Than $4.2 Million In Disgorgement, Penalties
UPDATED 10:35 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) Matthew John Gagnon, an HYIP huckster and promoter of the Legisi Ponzi scheme, has been hit with orders of disgorgement and penalties totaling more than $4.2 million, the SEC said.
Gagnon, of Portland, Ore., and Weslaco, Texas, was described by the SEC as a serial promoter of fraud schemes through his Mazu.com website.
“The Court found that Gagnon ‘purposefully built up an image of trustworthiness in the on-line investing community and exploited this trust,’” the SEC said. “The Court also found that Gagnon ‘repeatedly committed egregious violations of the federal securities laws’ and ‘has shown no remorse for his conduct.’”
U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh of the Eastern District of Michigan presided over the Gagnon case, which the SEC brought in May 2010. The SEC case against Gagnon was not limited to his involvement in Legisi. It also addressed his involvement in a “resorts” securities-fraud scheme from which money was diverted to a recidivist felon, and his involvement in multiple Forex schemes.
Legisi, an HYIP fraud, had a considerable presence on the TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup Ponzi forums. Legisi operator Gregory McKnight pleaded guilty to wire fraud last month.
Here is the breakdown of the financial penalties ordered by Steeh in the May 2010 case against Gagnon: $3,613,259 in disgorgement; $488,570.47 in prejudgment interest; and a $100,000 civil penalty.
The court-appointed receiver in the Legisi case also holds millions of dollars in judgments against Gagnon.
Here is a snippet from Steeh’s order of permanent injunction against Gagnon (italics added):
“[Gagnon] explained that ‘I have a trader I represent in Europe that can trade your funds in a managed account.’ Gagnon promised that investors in the European Trade Offer would experience ‘consistent monthly profits’ and ‘very few losing trades.’ Apparently, the European trader is ‘Juju,’ who is Jjunju Kateregga, a Ugandan national residing in Finland. Gagnon promoted Juju’s trading prowess after meeting him on the internet, exchanging emails and talking to him on the phone ‘a few times.’”
NOTE: The quoted passage above pertains to a purported “managed Forex trading” offer pitched by Gagnon after he moved on from Legisi. (Read the full order at Justia.com.)
In November 2011, the U.S. Secret Service filed a criminal complaint against Gagnon for his alleged wrongdoing in Legisi.