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Ponzi scheme involves employee with CU ties
LANSING, Mich. (7/21/10)--A group of University of Michigan Health System employees has filed a complaint with the state's Financial Industry Regulatory Authority about an alleged Ponzi scheme involving a broker representing a credit union service organization (CUSO). The filing comes four months after Michigan's Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) issued a cease-and-desist order against Mark Carpenter and revoked his securities and insurance licenses. Carpenter sold investment products through his company TGBG Financial, while employed with CUSO Financial Services from June 2007 through October 2008 (News Now March 9). CUSO Financial, a stock brokerage firm in San Diego, maintained a securities branch office inside MidWest Financial CU, a $185 million asset credit union based in Ann Arbor. The credit union and CUSO were not involved in the scheme (News Now March 3). The credit union has applied for a merger with DFCU Financial CU, Dearborn (News Now June 16). An attorney representing five clients--all physicians and administrators in the health system--said the group lost nearly $1 million by investing with Carpenter. Through securities arbitration, they are seeking recompensation from him and from CUSO Financial as his employer. Arbitration is similar to a lawsuit but offers an ability to recover money without going through the court system, the attorney, John Chapman, told Heritage Newspapers July 18). Carpenter has not been charged with any criminal activity but is under investigation by the Michigan Division of Securities. Carpenter himself was scammed in a larger Ponzi operation involving Michael Winans Jr. of the family gospel group, The Winans (News Now March 9) .
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