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Press Release

North Carolina Man Charged with $7 Million Ponzi Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A North Carolina man was indicted today on wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering charges related to a $7 million investment fraud Ponzi scheme, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

David Schamens, 65, of Greensboro, North Carolina, is charged by indictment with seven counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, and seven counts of money laundering.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Starting in 2014, Schamens fraudulently solicited investments in various entities he controlled, including TD Trading LLC, TFG Trading Fund LLC, Tradestream Analytics LTD, Tradedesk Financial Group Inc., and others, under the promise of annual rates of return of 12 to 30 percent. In 2019, Schamens began to solicit investment in Tradestream Algo Fund, an algorithm-based trading pool that he claimed to have developed. In each instance, Schamens directed investors to wire funds directly or to transfer portions of their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to bank accounts he controlled.

Schamens often moved victim funds through several different bank accounts before he ultimately used the funds for some non-investment related purpose. Schamens took several steps to keep his customers’ trust, including sending false account statements; posting false monthly account statements to his companies’ websites showing balances for trading accounts that did not exist; and sending false tax documents reporting earnings that did not exist.

Schamens allegedly misappropriated $7 million from at least 25 different individuals, using some of that money to repay earlier investors in the manner of a Ponzi scheme, and to pay personal expenses.

The count of wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The count of securities fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million. The count of money laundering carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel, with the investigation leading to the charges. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Torntore, chief of the Cybercrime Unit, and Sophie E. Reiter of the Cybercrime Unit.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated March 28, 2023

Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: 23-077