My most recent “Asset Search News Roundup” reported about the April 13, 2010 plea agreement executed by securities fraudster and Ponzi schemer Trevor Cook.  In this plea deal, Mr. Cook pleaded guilty to tax and mail fraud charges, agreed to make restitution and is supposed to fully disclose his assets to prosecutors.

Mr. Cook must also cooperate with Receiver R.J. Zayed, who seeks to recover Receivership assets for the benefit of Mr. Cook’s Ponzi scheme victims.  Before the plea agreement happened, the Receiver made his March 29th statement.  It expressed “shared concern & frustration” over the asset recovery effort launched against Mr. Cook.  In this statement, the Receiver acknowledged that his efforts targeting Mr. Cook, have been criticized:

 (Click On The Following Image To Read The Complete Statement)

According to the March 29th statement, the Receiver had used his resources judiciously.  He diligently tried to garner financial intelligence about Receivership assets believed to be hidden by Mr. Cook.  A few of the steps taken by the Receiver have included:

  • conducting over 50 interviews of “individuals with information”;
  • the forensic examination of numerous computers;
  • issuing more than 250 subpoenas of domestic individuals and entities;
  • using domestic private investigators who had formerly been a Postal Inspector or FBI or IRS agents;
  • and a physical inspection of Trevor and Gina Cook’s residence at 12735 Dover Drive in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

To date, the Receiver seems to have seized only domestic Receivership assets.  If Mr. Cook hid most of his assets in foreign states by laundering through multiple jurisdictions, then seizing domestic assets would be picking just the “low-hanging fruit”.  The Receiver has however, announced that he identified and / or seeks to interdict foreign assets consisting of: Canadian property worth up to $500,000, $1 million in a foreign bank account and $13 million in Panamanian real property.

Given the fact of Mr. Cook’s April 13th plea agreement, there are two critical questions remaining in Mr. Cook’s case: Will Mr. Cook finally disclose to prosecutors and the Receiver, what happened to the bulk of the Receivership assets?  Even assuming that Mr. Cook does make full asset disclosure, will his 1000+ plus Ponzi scheme victims see a meaningful recovery of their estimated $190 million in losses?

Copyright 2010 Fred L. Abrams