Tower Financial Corporation operates holding company. The Bank provides a range of commercial and consumer banking services primarily in Allen County. Michael Rosoff, former chief legal officer for the defunct Towers Financial Corporation, was charged today with participating in Towers' fraudulent sales of. LEAD: Fifteen years ago Steven Hoffenberg started a credit business with $2, in a small downtown New York office with a couple of employees. Now he is the. FOREX HISTORY DATA 2012 ELECTION This process is logged in to. Your computer can log in Sign. CData Sync Replicate the current connection or code that.
He was sentenced in to 20 years in prison and was released in Towers Financial executives Mitchell Brater and Michael Rosoff were given prison sentences between seven and nine years. Other employees who pleaded guilty received civil judgments.
Epstein was never charged in the fraud. His legal team did not respond to CBS News' request for comment. Epstein died in an apparent suicide this weekend in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges. Some of those who either investigated or sued Towers Financial two decades ago recall Epstein being involved with the company.
If he was not the number two guy, he was certainly the number two or number three person at the firm," said Terrence Corrigan, a lawyer for a committee tasked with getting back money for an estimated 2, investors in the scam. Corrigan told CBS News that by the time investigators began probing, "Epstein was either gone or on his way out.
Corrigan likened Towers' business model to the classic con movie "The Sting. Someone would make a call downstairs to make sure employees would look busy once investors arrived. It was selling promises to investors: Buy our notes, buy our bonds. It never had a core operating business that would have sustained the kind of payoffs that were being promised. Corrigan's team did not pursue a financial claim against Epstein.
He turned the product of his investigation over to the SEC, which brought its own charges against Towers executives that did not involve Epstein. An attorney at Towers Financial, who requested his name not be used, also confirmed that Epstein worked at the company. I remember him. CBS News spoke with four defense attorneys who represented Towers executives. They could not recall Epstein at the company, though some qualified their responses by noting they couldn't remember much about litigation from over 20 years ago.
Two business deals executed by Towers in the s show an Epstein connection. They rolled them into a Towers shell company called United Diversified Corporation. That same year, Towers attempted to take over Pan Am Airways by using millions in bonds from the newly acquired insurance companies. State insurance regulators say Towers and United Diversified made improper investments and misused funds, in violation of Illinois law.
Hoffenberg told CBS News that Epstein was in charge of the illegal transfer and sale of bonds and investments out of United Diversified accounts. Epstein's involvement with United Diversified Corp. This person, I believe, had the connection with Mr. Epstein is not named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Schacht and the Illinois Department of Insurance against Hoffenberg and other Towers executives.
But Epstein's name appears multiple times in a section on "Improper Disbursements," listing a series of checks issued by Hoffenberg and drawn from the United Fire and United Diversified accounts. A press release issued by Towers Financial in about the proposed Pan Am acquisition also lists Epstein as being connected to the firm. The SEC considered his financial crimes to be "one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history" prior to Bernie Madoff 's crimes a decade later.
Hoffenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish family. In the early s Hoffenberg founded Towers Financial Corporation, a New York City debt collection agency that was supposed to buy debts that people owed to hospitals, banks, and phone companies. And he has no moral compass. Their bid failed, in part because of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight over Lockerbie , which ultimately contributed to the airline's bankruptcy. A similar unsuccessful bid in was made to take over Emery Air Freight Corp.
During this period, Hoffenberg and Epstein worked closely together and traveled everywhere on Hoffenberg's private jet. In Hoffenberg owned the conservative-leaning daily tabloid newspaper New York Post for three months. The ceremony was held in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan. In the Towers Ponzi scheme imploded, in February the Securities and Exchange Commission began a civil action against him and others, and in March Towers Financial filed for bankruptcy.
In February he was arrested, and in Judge Robert W. Hoffenberg is currently paying back all of the above investors' debt. In , Hoffenberg and some of his victims joined forces to file suit against Epstein, seeking restitution. Hoffenberg asserted in court that Epstein had been intimately involved in Tower's financial practices and had called Epstein the "architect of the scam".
But because a judge expressed skepticism about this class action, Hoffenberg withdrew the suit. In July , following Epstein's arrest on charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, Hoffenberg again claimed that Epstein was his "uncharged co-conspirator" in the Ponzi scheme.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American fraudster. Brooklyn, New York. Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on June 12, Retrieved June 11, SEC News Digest. February 18,