(As a disclaimer, this database is meant for educational purposes only, and was compiled through articles published on Ponzitracker as well as through reporting available on the internet through various sources, including Kathy Phelps' monthly Ponzi roundups at ThePonziSchemeBlog.com. A special thanks to Alison Jimenez with Dynamic Securities Analytics for her assistance in visualizing the data. Individuals accused of Ponzi schemes are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The database generally only included Ponzi schemes of $1 million or more. Please feel free to direct any comments or inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org.)
2017 Ponzi Scheme List
Both the number of Ponzi scheme discoveries and prison sentences continued their decline in 2017. At least 53 Ponzi schemes involving approximately $1 million or more in investor funds were discovered in 2017 - down approximately 10% from the 59 schemes that were discovered in 2016. The average scheme size was $34.1 million, which also decreased by nearly 20% from the $40.1 million average scheme size in 2016. The median scheme size was much lower at $5 million, with the larger average scheme size likely attributable to the $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme uncovered in December 2017. In total, the schemes involved more thn $1.8 billion in investor funds.
The number of sentences handed out to those convicted for their role in Ponzi schemes in 2017 also declined from 2016, In 2017, 64 individuals were sentenced to nearly 650 years in cumulative prison sentences. This was a decrease of approximately 15% from the prison sentences handed down in 2016 and may be attributable to the declining number of schemes uncovered in the past several years. The sentences ranged from mere months to decades in prison, with four different individuals receiving 40-year prison sentences even though three of those four Ponzi schemes involved $10 million or less in losses.
A full database of uncovered Ponzi schemes and prison sentences for 2017 is below: