A Logistics Scammer's Ponzi Scheme

Glyn Richards wasn't in the same league as Bernie Madoff, but the Ponzi scheme he ran under the cover of All Freight Logistics did as much damage to its victims as Madoff's much larger scam.

Richards is the Haddon Heights, N.J., man sentenced to 30 years imprisonment without parole June 30 by a federal judge for defrauding more than 60 people, including close family members, of nearly $6 million. He'd solicit a $25,000 "investment" promising payments of $36,000 within 120 days.

Some investors received a portion of the promised returns — enough to convince them to invest more — but most got nothing but excuses.

The money supposedly was to pay steamship companies and agents to move U.S. military equipment overseas. According to prosecutors, it really went to support Richards' "lavish lifestyle." His company had no contract with the Department of Defense, and no goods were shipped.

Several local papers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Courier Post, covered the sentencing hearing. Here are comments from the hearing as reported by the Courier Post Online.  You can download the charges filed by the U.S. District Attorney for New Jersey against Richards. Here's a press release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on his guilty plea last June.

And yes, there is a blog about this scam, with victims' stories and details on how Richards conned them.

People like Richards and Madoff prey on people's ignorance — in this case, their lack of knowledge about shipping — and their desire to make money, which is not a crime. Let's hope it's a long time before we see a scam like this one again.

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