Real Estate Agent Arrested for $20 Million Ponzi Scheme




A real estate agent from Petaluma, Calif., has been arrested in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that took over $20 million from investors.

Aldo Baccala, 71, purportedly collected money from more than 75 investors by promising returns of at least 12 percent. Using his company, Baccala Realty, Inc., Baccala is said to have claimed to be using the money to purchase nursing homes, a mushroom farm and a car wash. Instead, he allegedly lost much of the money investing in the stock market and never used any of it for his promised investments.

He is being charged with 167 felony counts of grand theft, securities fraud and elder abuse, as most of his investors were senior citizens.

Read more on Novato Patch.

How to Spot a Ponzi Scheme



Real Estate investment is a prime target for scammers. Last month, a former NYPD officer was accused of stealing $4.7 million from investors. He claimed to be developing condominiums in the Dominican Republic.

And it is no surprise the Internet is home to real estate scammers as well. AOL Real Estate previously reported on some alleged Craigslist scams targeting renters.

See also:
Neighbor Nabs 'Contractors' Breaking Into Vacant House
Pair Living in $1.2 Million House Plead Guilty in Welfare Fraud


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