Have money to invest? Beware of slick crooks who may be after your cash

Posted at 7:19 PM, Apr 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-09 19:19:10-04

You might have heard the name, Bernie Madoff if there was a scam artist hall of fame, he'd be in there.

During his crooked career, Madoff swindled people out of 18 billion dollars.

But for every Bernie Madoff, there are thousands scammers without the fame

Like Robert Tringham, while Madoff went after the super-rich. Most scammers, like Tringham, are going after regular people.

”The victims were enraged. They were upset because they trusted him and they thought he was actually making the trades and investing the money in what he promised them,” Lisa Cummings, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Inspector Lisa Cummings is talking about Robert Tram. Who promised investors he would deposit their money into an account and the funds would be used as leverage to buy bonds at a discounted rate.

"The whole business was a fraud, the trades actually never took place. In reality, their money was pulled into one central account, and he used the money to purchase a home, diamond bar, and luxury vehicle,” says Cummings Specifically a luxury home in a gated community, and a Land Rover for his girlfriend. 15 victims lost $8 million dollars. ”The victims lost a lot of money. They trusted him and they were deceived by him,” says Cummings.

Some advice from postal inspectors: thoroughly check out the person you`re trusting with your hard-earned money, before you invest. ”Even if you had Googled his name, he was previously convicted in the UK for forgery and deception, so he had a criminal history prior to starting up this scheme in the US,” says Cummings.

Robert Tringham was sentenced to 13 years for mail fraud, wire fraud and destruction/falsification of records. He was ordered to pay more than $2 million dollars in restitution.