South Dakota native and Miami Heat player Mike Miller is part of a Security and Exchange Commission lawsuit against a Sioux Falls man and his East Coast business partner accused of operating a fraudulent investment company.
Operating under RAHFCO Funds, Randy Kent Hansen, 64, of Sioux Falls and Vincent Puma, 41, of New Jersey allegedly defrauded about 100 investors out of more than $10 million.
Miller has recuperated a substantial portion of his money because of the precautionary steps he took before investing. He also filed two of his own lawsuits against Hansen and Puma in an effort to restore all of his $1.7 million investment and hold Hansen and Puma accountable.
"I think these types of schemes are unfortunately more common today than they were in the past," said Scott Abdallah, Miller's Attorney in Sioux Falls.
It's why precautions are so important. Abdallah says Miller's protective measures are the only reason he was able to get some of his money back.
"He took certain steps ahead of time to protect his investment as best he could," said Abdallah.
Edward Jones Financial Advisor Chance Stoeser says there are precautions every investor should make before entrusting someone else with your money.
"If there's any type of complaints against individuals, they are public record," said Stoeser.
The SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have information on individual advisors and any complaints made against them; however, even if an advisor's record is clean, you still need to take precautions.
"You never write out your check to your financial advisor, that's just bad practice, it should typically go through a clearing house or to the corporation," said Stoeser.
You should also look into their local reputation by checking with friends, family and other people in the community.
But most important, Stoeser says if it's too good to be true, it is; you should always get a second opinion on any financial advice.
"If you're concerned about hey, I'm nervous about what this guy or this lady is presenting to me, it doesn't hurt to have a second opinion on this," said Stoeser.
If you feel you've been defrauded on a current investment, like Mike Miller and the 100 other investors in this case, there are several legal channels available to get your investment back.
"I think it should give them some hope that they may be able to recover something, but how much of that will be, time will tell," said Abdallah.
Stoeser says these types of schemes will likely become even more prevalent over the next two years as a large part of the country reaches retirement and will be looking for better returns on their retirement funds.
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