What Is a Ponzi Scheme?

Investor Claims Is What We Do - All Day, Every Day

Since 1999 our law firm has recovered more than $350,000,000 for victims of investment fraud and misconduct.
  • Jury Verdict Won Against Prudential Securities $262 Million
  • Recovered for 100-Year Old Widow $30 Million
  • Recovered in Retirement Losses $10 Million
  • Recovered for a Large Group of Individual Investors $6.5 Million
  • Recovered for Elderly Victim in Ponzi Scheme Case $3.8 Million
  • Recovered for Elderly Ponzi Scheme Victim $3.2 Million
  • Recovered for More Than 50 Families of Ponzi Scheme in California $3.2 Million
  • Recovered for 35 Families in Northeast Ohio $3.1 Million
  • Losses Recovered for 20 Retirees $3 Million
  • Recovered for Retired Physician Against Major Wall Street Firm Prior to Filing FINRA Arbitration $2.5 Million

What is a Ponzi Scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of returns to investors from funds contributed to the scheme by new investors. There is often little or no legitimate investing occurring or profits being made. Fraudsters often solicit new investors by promising high returns with little or no risk, a red flag that is often over looked by investors. Because it can be hard to say no to someone you trust when the opportunity sounds so promising.

With little or no legitimate earnings, Ponzi schemes require a constant influx of money from new investors to continue to operate the scam. This is way the Ponzi scheme always collapse at some point. This happens when it is difficult to recruit new investors or when a large number of investors request their principle investment back. At that point the investors usually become aware that something is wrong. Their return checks might start to bounce or they cannot get in touch with the Ponzi scheme promoter any longer.

With the rise of Ponzi schemes in recent history, the terms Ponzi scheme and Pyramid scheme are often used interchangeably. There is a difference between the two, however. In a classic Pyramid scheme you generally pay into an offer that claims you can make money for yourself by recruiting more people into the scheme. The people you recruit will then pay their portion to you and so on. In a Ponzi scheme, although the structure seems very similar, you aren’t usually required to do any more work than just handing over your money to be invested. This is part of what makes the Ponzi scheme so effective. You usually aren’t told of the need for the additional recruits to keep the scam rolling. The Ponzi schemer takes your money and promises to do all the work for you. And they’re often long gone before you realize what’s happening.

The securities fraud lawyers at Meyer Wilson devote their practice to representing investors who have claims against stockbrokers, financial advisors, and their brokerage firms. We have represented hundreds of individuals in cases where their broker recommended they invest in what turned out to be Ponzi schemes. Meyer Wilson encourages you to explore this website and learn more about securities fraud and the process of recovering investment losses. If you would like to learn more about how the firm may be able to help you recover your losses please call us directly at the toll free number or submit the online form.

David Meyer has published an article on the aftermath of a Ponzi scheme for the American Bar Association. You can read the article here.

The Meyer Wilson Way

Results-Focused Representation
  • More than $350,000,000 Recovered
  • Voted Best Lawyers in America┬« for over Ten Years Running
  • David Meyer is President of Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (PIABA)
  • Over a Thousand Investor Claim Cases Since 1999
  • Exclusive Focus on Investor Claims & Class/Mass Action Lawsuits
  • Deep Bench of Skilled Attorneys and Staff Members


Meyer Wilson has represented over 1,000 individual investors in high-stakes claims across the country, and has recovered over $350 million on their behalves. See what former clients have to say about our team.

  • “I primarily worked with Courtney Werning throughout the process and she was informative and knowledgeable. I trusted and fully recommend Courtney and her team.”

    - S.R.
  • “The communication throughout the process was on par - and they took the time to indulge me with the various questions and opinions.”

    - R.G.
  • “What I truly appreciated was getting a great result for my Mom with limited involvement/stress on her.”

    - S.W.
  • “We went to arbitration with the other respondent and I got to see firsthand the level of professionalism and expertise the Meyer Wilson firm can deliver.”

    - D.V.
  • “Chad would take the time to call and talk with me. His explanations were always clear and concise. I also appreciate all the effort put into the details and statistics required to argue this case.”

    - P.N.
  • “Meyer Wilson was able to produce the results that we felt were obvious and warranted while several other firms and even state offices simply had trouble understanding let alone moving the case forward.”

    - B.K.
  • “My overall experience was positive and I would encourage anyone who even thinks they have been a victim of stockbroker misconduct to call David.”

    - S.T.
  • “Meyer Wilson represented me in a suit brought last year against my brokerage firm, securing a very fair and equitable settlement for me.”

    - R.G., M.D.
  • “Right from the start, you had the passion and desire to win this case for us. I have never worked with an attorney or firm as compassionate as yours. I would highly recommend your firm to anyone.”

    - G.A.

Talk to Our Team

Get Started with a Free Evaluation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter the name of the investment firm.
  • Please enter your preferred contact method.
  • Please enter how much you lost.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.