Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:29 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:29:46 GMT
McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast-food restaurants are expected to be targeted with acts of civil disobedience that could lead to arrests Thursday as labor organizers escalate their campaign to unionize...More >>
McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast-food restaurants are expected to be targeted with acts of civil disobedience that could lead to arrests Thursday as labor organizers escalate their campaign to unionize the...More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:25 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:25:16 GMT
It's a crime that continues to generate anger and disbelief in Montgomery and beyond- the destruction of the home of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks. The case took center stage this Labor Day at an annualMore >>
The community is uniting to help catch the criminals who desecrated a piece of Montgomery history. The vandalism of Rosa Parks' home angered many across the city and hundreds have donated in an effort to help find those responsible. Crimestoppers is hoping a bigger reward will crack the case.More >>
"She was offering 10-12% returns in 6-8 weeks," John Gilbert said. "So annualized, a 40-50% return is much better than I anticipated getting from my car business or in the stock market." The federal indictment against Ashcraft tells a similar story. "In the Investor Agreement, Brenda Ashcraft promised returns as much as 10% over a three month term, which equates to a 40% annual return," it says.
That would be an immediate red flag for Nathan Bachrach, FOX19's financial expert, who is suspicious when someone promises to outperform the stock market by so much.
"All of a sudden, if you could really do that, why would you be messing around taking money from people here in Cincinnati?" Bachrach asked, suggesting a financial wizard with those skills would be in high demand on Wall Street.
According to the indictment, investors would at first get what looked like a profit from their investment in Ashcraft's supposed real estate deals. But prosecutors say Ashcraft was just paying those people with other investors' money. They accuse her of using what was left to support her lifestyle. Gilbert says the same thing happened to him. He got good returns. Then the checks from Ashcraft started bouncing.
"She was writing checks for $535,000 to me (after) she was adamant that she doesn't bounce checks," Gilbert said. "Well, when I brought them to Fidelity, of course, ‘insufficient funds.'"
Bachrach says he's steered some of his own clients away from investments like this after they came into his office wanting to put money into them. Bachrach's technique is to call the person in charge of the investment opportunity and ask them in-depth financial questions about how the money is used. When he doesn't get a call back or gets fishy answers, he lets his clients know it may not be safe.
"Using your guts to make a decision can be very, very expensive," Bachrach said. "Keep in mind that greed and curiosity are two things that drive most people to do silly things with their money."
However, Ashcraft denies any wrongdoing. Though she repeatedly refused to answer FOX19's questions about where her investors' money is, when she emerged from the federal courthouse in Cincinnati Friday, she did say, "I have done nothing wrong."
Prosecutors representing the United States government will use their enormous resources to try to prove she did.