SEC finds few assets to repay Stinson investors

Robert Stinson Jr. is accusedof fraud.
Robert Stinson Jr. is accusedof fraud.
Posted: September 09, 2010

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that its investigation of Robert Stinson Jr.'s alleged investment fraud had turned up few assets that could be used to compensate for $15.7 million lost by investors.

In asking a federal judge in Philadelphia to appoint a receiver to gather additional assets for investors, the SEC said it had identified about $385,000 in liquid and other assets under the control of Stinson and others who benefited from the alleged fraud at Stinson's company, Life's Good Inc. in Philadelphia.

A receiver in this case will have a tough job.

The SEC has determined, based partially on a July 19 interview with Stinson, what became of approximately $5.7 million of the $17.6 million he raised since 2006 from at least 262 investors for his Life's Good funds. The funds were supposed to invest in short-term mortgages.

Stinson paid himself, as well as family and friends, $2.2 million, used $2 million to pay off investors in a Ponzi-like fashion, made $1 million in loans, and paid $500,000 to people who found investors for him, the SEC said.

Stinson also used an undetermined amount of the remaining $12 million of investor money to operate his businesses, invest in numerous private companies, pay his daughter's college tuition, and take friends to Phillies games at Citizens Bank Park, the SEC said.

In a larger local Ponzi scheme, that of Joseph S. Forte, who is serving a 15-year prison term, the court-appointed receiver, Marion A. Hecht, has in 17 months of work recouped just more than $1 million to offset $35 million in investor losses, according to her most recent report to the court.

In June, the judge overseeing that case approved a $572,187 payment to Hecht and her attorneys.


Contact staff writer Harold Brubaker at 215-854-4651 or hbrubaker@phillynews.com.

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