Christmas Came Early!

The LA Business Journal reports that on Tuesday the 16th, Joel & Ed were charged with conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.  They’re looking at up to 20 years for each count and given that both of them are in their mid-seventies, any amount of jail time could mean a life sentence. And just in time for the holidays! In other related news, the court approved the recommendations in the receiver’s report.  The next report should be due around February.

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Receiver’s first report

The receiver has issued his first report and you can read it at the receiver’s site.  The report starts off by saying that due to the short length of time and the volume of information to digest, the report is a preliminary and the contents may change a lot.  Let me break down a few juicy tidbits:   Ed & Joel consented to the Preliminary Injunction.  This means that the restraining order has basically become permanent and that the court date for Monday is cancelled, since there’s no need for it now. Joel admitted that most of the ATMs sold weren’t real and the serial numbers made up. He said that he came up with the list of locations by combing the yellow pages and calling the location to see if they had an ATM there. While we all know that Joel can’t honestly claim ignorance, this document points out that because Ed could sign checks, did the tax returns and was also the registered agent of those Oasis Studio Rentals companies (the ones who received loans from NASI for large sums), he can’t claim it either. The receiver and the FBI showed up at NASI’s office on October 1st

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This is not the receiver’s site

Some folks coming to the site may be a bit confused.  This blog is not the receiver’s site and I don’t have any kind of direct communication with the receiver.  The receiver’s website is located at http://www.nasi-receivership.com/. The questionnaire (formerly known as the “survey”) is also there. The receiver cannot personally answer each one of you right now, either by email or phone.  The rumors I heard were that thousands of people were victimized by NASI.  Given that, responding to everyone personally would simply take too much time.  Think of it this way, if 2000 people were scammed and it takes 20 minutes to respond personally by email or phone (ha, you know those phone calls will be longer), and if Hoffman hired two people whose sole job it was to return communications for 8 hours a day, then it would take those two people forty one days (not including weekends) to get back to all of you. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not listening.  If you’ve sent an email and received the auto-response, then they know about you.  If you’ve called and left a message, then they know about you.  And please stop posting your phone numbers in

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Proposed Dismissal of the Bankruptcy

I checked the docket on the bankruptcy today and there’s been some activity.  The receiver (well, the attorneys for the receiver) filed a stipulation for dismissal of the bankruptcy case, with approval of the creditors involved in the case as well as a lodgment. To sum up the document, the receiver states that: The TRO has a clause which prevents creditors and other victims from trying to recoup their losses through any non-SEC actions. That neither NASI nor the creditors could have known about the TRO when the bankruptcy case was filed.  And that neither party knew about the TRO when NASI agreed to go into bankruptcy. That it is in the best interests of the victims for there to be only one proceeding against NASI.  The overlap in the two cases would cause duplicate work which in turn would cause added expenses. If the two cases were to exist concurrently, the trustee would basically have to redo a ton of work that the receiver has already done or is in the process of doing. The creditors’ attorney had reservations about agreeing to dismiss the bankruptcy case because the bankruptcy would have “avoiding powers” that the receiver does not have.  But,

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Open Letter from the Receiver

The receiver site has recently been updated to include an open letter and there is a survey also available in which they ask for your contact information, the names of the people involved in recruiting you as well as the amount of ATMs you purchased and what price you paid for them.  So be sure to head on over there and fill out the survey! I’ve reprinted the open letter below as well as uploaded the pdf to the library.  A message to investors from the Receiver: Dear Investor, As you may already know, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently filed a complaint against the following companies and persons: NATIONWIDE AUTOMATED SYSTEMS, INC. JOEL GILLIS EDWARD WISHNER Defendants, and OASIS STUDIO RENTALS, LLC OASIS STUDIO RENTALS #2, LLC OASIS STUDIO RENTALS #3, LLC Relief Defendants The SEC alleges the Defendants operated a large Ponzi scheme by selling investments in automated teller machines (ATM’s) through purported “sale and leaseback” transactions. The complaint further alleges that Nationwide Automated Systems, Inc. (“NASI”) told investors they were buying ATM’s and leasing them back to NASI, who would in turn guarantee an investment return of at least 20% per year. The complaint states that

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And so it hits the news…

Some members of Quatloos have noticed that various blogs are reporting on NASI and the SEC’s involvement.  It’s hasn’t hit anything too mainstream like the LA Times, but at least this scam is getting some attention. So, I’ve set up a new section of the blog specifically for news stories on NASI, as there really isn’t anything else to report right now.  Well, except that Trigild now also owns the domain name nasi-receivership.com.  Don’t get excited – it just forwards to the existing receiver site.

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What you need to do now

Scam operators tend not to keep good records and who knows what NASI ditched as things started to collapse.  So, as the receiver goes through the records that is there he will likely find gaps. If you haven’t already done so, you should start gathering any records you have regarding the scam. This should include: any communications with NASI, their representatives and anyone else who helped land the deal, so to speak the monthly statements from NASI contracts bank statements and other financial records which demonstrate your investments and the payouts 1099s issued to you by NASI records of signup bonuses you may have received for referring other investors. If there’s any other records that you think the receiver or SEC would find useful, include that as well.  And if there’s anything else you think needs to be added to the above list, please leave a comment below. Also, if you remember, heard in passing, or have any records that indicate where NASI, Joel, Ed, etc. could have hidden money, you should tell the receiver.  Every dime they can recover is more money back to the people who lost money.  Even if your loss won’t break you financially, your diligence

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Receivership Website Online

Well, we were off on the location of the website.  It’s actually http://www.nasi-nationwideatm.com/Edit: I guess the receiver changed his mind and dumped thsi domain name.  The new name is http://www.nasi-receivership.com. It’s…sparse.  I checked the domain holder and it is definitely owned by Trigild, the company who employs the receiver, William Hoffman. Those who are familiar with NASI’s old site, the one with the picture of the ATM, the contact form and the phony client login, will recognize the URL.  But you don’t.  The receiver’s site has a dash instead of a period after nasi.  Yeah, I know.  A bit confusing.   You can see for yourself at a place like http://whois.domaintools.com, you’ll see Trigild as the registrant for nasi-nationwideatm.com.

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Official Website Coming Soon

A member on the Quatloos forum spoke with the receiver today and there should be a website up and running today or tomorrow.  It should be nasireceivership.com, but we won’t be sure until it comes online. That domain name, the .org and the .gov names have not been registered yet.

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What we know so far…

Thanks to the SEC investigation and the minutes that accompanied the temporary restraining order, we know know more about the behind the scenes operations over at NASI.  Of course, the SEC is not finished investigating, so this information is subject to change. But, I thought I’d go through the order and break out the interesting elements. Since 2013, NASI raised $123 million in investor funds. ATM revenue accounted for less than 2% of NASI’s actual revenue. NASI operated like a typical Ponzi, using new investor funds to pay the guaranteed return of 20% on the old investments. There were three NASI-affiliated companies involved with this scam, and Edward Wishner was the registered agent of all three.  They were Oasis Studio Rentals, LLC., Oasis Studio Rentals #2, LLC., and Oasis Studio Rentals #3, LLC. NASI would charge $12k per ATM contract, the contracts ran for ten years. At the end of the ten years, the investor could have their ATM delivered to them, get a full refund of their initial investment or auto-renew the contract for three years.  In the complaint, it stated that some investors were charged $19k for an ATM contract. The contract prohibited the investor from contacting the

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