Sec: Ex-Con Uses $26M Ponzi Scheme to Pay Off Prior Victims

Eric J. Aronson is an ex-con, an author and a highly sought after motivational speaker. He has been on CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS, in addition to being cited in various magazines, including Money, Entrepreneur, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, among many others. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now is saying he has operated a $26 million Ponzi scheme and using the funds generated to help pay off victims from his other fraud, which sent him to prison, according to Bloomberg.

After being indicted for securities fraud and serving three years in federal prison more than ten years ago, Aronson has authored self-help books and founded Dash Systems LLC, a diverse company that motivates, inspires, coaches, publishes books and promotes health and nutrition, among other things. His company and Dash Magazine focuses on “Determination, Attitude, Success and Happiness.” As a result of his prior fraud and jail time, Aronson was ordered to pay back victims of his conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

It seems that Aronson discovered a way to expedite the court ordered restitution to victims of his earlier misdeeds. The SEC alleges that he solicited over a 140 investors to purchase promissory notes from his companies, including PermaPave Industries LLC. According to the SEC complaint, Aronson was promising returns of a much as 33% on the natural stone pavers imported from Australia. As in every Ponzi type situation, the investors’ money was used by Aronson and others to live a life of luxury. The money was used to buy fancy cars, expensive jewelry, expensive real estate, pay credit cards and to go on gambling trips to Vegas, among other things. The SEC also has alleged that Aronson misappropriated around $2.6 million from other companies he owned and controlled, to help pay off the victims from his scheme over ten years ago. His book, DASH, was written in 2007. The first chapter was called “The Buffet of Life.” It seems that the man known for teaching others on how to overcome life’s obstacles, has just created another for himself.

The New York SEC Office head, George Canellos, said that Aronson and his associates “created the façade of a profitable business, promised investors extraordinary rates of return and used much of their investors’ money to fund their own lavish lifestyle.” The SEC is requesting restitution for the victims, monetary fines and seeking a permanent ban on Aronson ever being able to serve as an officer or director of a public company.

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