Neil Greenberg, an investment advisor in Boulder, Co., invested $174 million of his clients’ money in funds run by Ponzi schemers Bernie Madoff and Tom Petters. Now, Greenberg is facing repercussions of his own after being charged by the SEC for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. No redemptions have been allowed on Greenberg’s funds since 2008, and the SEC does not expect investors to get much, if any, of their investment money returned.
Greenberg sold his clients on the safety and security his investment strategies would create, and convinced investors, primarily retirees who should have been focused on income-producing investments, to sell their annuities and invest in much riskier funds. Greenberg, in turn, received millions of dollars in fees. A class action suit filed against Greenberg describes many of the victims as “older, hardworking citizens of Colorado.” While Greenberg generally had a specific type of clientele, two of Greenberg’s more prominent clients included a former United States Congressman and a well-known radio talk show host.
Ironically, one of Greenberg’s funds was named “Agile Safety Variable Fund.”