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Fraud at Triton Financial

  • Date Submitted: 11/02/2011 02:33 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.2 
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Fraud at Triton Financial

Reynald Magbouo
Fall 2011
The former Triton Financial chief executive Kurt Barton was found guilty on all 39 counts of fraud in August of this year.   He was convicted for running a Ponzi scheme that took advantage of over three hundred people which included family, fellow church members, retired and current professional athletes.   He even used retired NFL players and Heismann Trophy winners including Jeff Blake, Ty Detmer and Chris Weinke as employees to recruit more investors.   Federal agents said that Barton raised about $75 million but only about $20 million was used for its intended purpose with most of it being used to pay for Triton operations, line Barton’s pockets and to pay off earlier investors2.   They would help raise money for supposed investments in real estate and businesses and for short-term loans for business owners.   One lawsuit that was filed against the Austin, Texas based-firm claimed that Barton and his colleagues persuaded investors to invest in an insurance company in Florida but instead bough an equipment leasing company in Nebraska without the investor’s consent3.   This is just one of the many unfortunate incidences that were led by Kurt Barton.  
In 2008, Jeff Blake emailed 102 retired NFL players and told them without a disclaimer that Triton was averaging thirty two percent annualized return on its investments within the past five years.   The ex-NFL quarterback was basically saying that investors would have quadrupled their money in the past sixty months.   Before the lawsuits the website even stated that they aim for “an internal annualized rate of return of 30+ percent over a typical hold period of 24 to 36 months.4” This was a red flag because the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts claimed that the commercial real estate returns around the country were -9.22 percent average for the past five years and -32.75 percent in 2009.   Barton’s whole strategy was to seek out distressed...


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