Thursday, September 08, 2011

Senator Faber.....

From John Curry, September 8, 2011
[September 8, 2011]
Dear Senator Faber,
One month has now elapsed since I wrote you (copy of that letter is below) concerning your comments re. Ohio's public pension systems as being "Ponzi schemes." I have been patiently waiting your reasons why you think that they are Ponzi schemes (per the SEC "red flags" below indicating Ponzi schemes) and also awaiting word that you, in fact (and in the furtherance of justice), have reported this belief to the Securities and Exchange Commission for further criminal investigation so as to protect us public servants from these supposed evil retirement schemes. To this date I have received no reply from you. I realize that you are a busy person but, if these are in fact "Ponzi schemes" as you suggest....... they really need investigated by federal authorities, don't you think? Will be eagerly awaiting your reply....and so will thousands of other Ohio pension system stakeholders. Thank you.
John Curry
Wapakoneta, OH
An Ohio retirement system benefits recipient and resident of your district
Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:13 AM
Subject: RE: Senator Faber....

Mr. Curry,

Thank you for you e-mail. As Senator Faber receives a large amount of correspondence and likes to respond to these letters personally, it can take a longer amount of time. Our office has received your previous e-mail and will make sure that it is responded to promptly. I apologize for the inconvenience.

If I can be of service with this or any other state matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at 614.466.7584.

Richard Thompson

Administrative Aide

Office of Senator Keith Faber, President Pro Tempore

From: John Curry []

Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:58 PM
To: Senator Faber
Subject: Senator Faber....

Senator Faber,

It's been over one week now and I am still awaiting a reply concerning a letter (below) that I sent to you on August 8. I am awaiting your listing of the "red flags" exhibited by Ohio's public pensions that indicate the existence of a Ponzi scheme that you referred to in the Hamilton Journal. Are you having difficulties finding any you need more time? Thousands of (voting) retirees of Ohio's pension funds are eagerly awaiting your answer. They want to see if you really can back up your claim or if you are simply uttering "hot air."

John Curry

P.S. Have you "tipped off" the SEC about your belief that Ohio's public pensions are, in fact, Ponzi schemes? After all, if they are then justice needs to be served, doesn't it?

From: John Curry

Sent: Monday, August 08, 2011 1:00 AM

Subject: Senator Faber...are you sure you know a Ponzi scheme when you see one?

Senator Faber,

It is with interest that I read in the Hamilton Journal News that you refer to Ohio's public pensions as Ponzi schemes.

Faber said, “I call it the pension Ponzi scheme. I mean, (the pension funds) all anticipate that they’ll have new members coming in to pay the liabilities of the old members. Well, I think that’s bad public policy. In the long term I think you need public policy that essentially says ‘My contributions over my career are going to be what pays for my retirement.’ And I want to make sure that we set up a system that does that — my contributions plus a reasonable investment return.”

Sir, I beg to differ with you and wish to call your attention to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...a governmental body which knows a whole lot more about "Ponzi schemes" than you'll ever know in a lifetime. The SEC addresses the issue of how to recognize "Ponzi schemes" and provides a list of "red flags" or "common characteristics" that identify a Ponzi scheme. Ohio's public retirement systems exhibit none of these red flags or characteristics. If you feel that they do, please list which of the following seven "red flags" that Ohio's public pension systems exhibit. Documentation would be appreciated. Thank you.

John Curry

Wapakoneta, OH

a benefits recipient of one of Ohio's public pension systems

P.S. Keith, why don't you just be honest with all Ohioans and tell them, up front, that you want to convert their pension investments from the current Defined Benefits system into a Defined Contribution system so that you can enrich the coffers of your friends in the banking and investments arenas so that they can in turn donate even more toward your future campaign contributions? Oh, there's an SEC 1-800 number listed below. The SEC wants tips from the public when those in the public think they see a Ponzi scheme in action. Feel free to call it.

What are some Ponzi scheme “red flags”?

Many Ponzi schemes share common characteristics. Look for these warning signs:

  • High investment returns with little or no risk. Every investment carries some degree of risk, and investments yielding higher returns typically involve more risk. Be highly suspicious of any “guaranteed” investment opportunity.
  • Overly consistent returns. Investments tend to go up and down over time, especially those seeking high returns. Be suspect of an investment that continues to generate regular, positive returns regardless of overall market conditions.
  • Unregistered investments. Ponzi schemes typically involve investments that have not been registered with the SEC or with state regulators. Registration is important because it provides investors with access to key information about the company’s management, products, services, and finances.
  • Unlicensed sellers. Federal and state securities laws require investment professionals and their firms to be licensed or registered. Most Ponzi schemes involve unlicensed individuals or unregistered firms.
  • Secretive and/or complex strategies. Avoiding investments you don’t understand or for which you can’t get complete information is a good rule of thumb.
  • Issues with paperwork. Ignore excuses regarding why you can’t review information about an investment in writing, and always read an investment’s prospectus or disclosure statement carefully before you invest. Also, account statement errors may be a sign that funds are not being invested as promised.
  • Difficulty receiving payments. Be suspicious if you don’t receive a payment or have difficulty cashing out your investment. Keep in mind that Ponzi scheme promoters sometimes encourage participants to “roll over” promised payments by offering even higher investment returns.

If you are aware of an investment opportunity that might be a Ponzi scheme, contact the SEC by phone at (800) 732-0330 or online at

Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
web page counter
Vermont Teddy Bear Company