Red Banyan was retained by a law firm representing victims of a large-scale, multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. Exposure of the Ponzi operator as a fraud was imperative to help prevent him from preying on new victims and to assist the attorneys with gathering crucial information and attracting additional plaintiffs. Red Banyan also needed to inform past victims that they were not alone and that assistance was available to pursue the return of their stolen funds.
The team at Red Banyan developed a strategic legal PR campaign to achieve its client’s interrelated objectives by effectively using the power of the press. Working alongside the attorneys from day one ensured that the public relations strategy was closely tied to the legal strategy. Aggressive media outreach was conducted at the local, national and international level targeting TV, print, radio and online outlets.
As a direct result of Red Banyan’s strategic communications work with the plaintiff’s attorneys and the victims, the Ponzi criminal was convicted and sentenced to nearly twenty years in federal prison.
By leveraging the power of the press to fight for justice, Red Banyan exposed the Ponzi schemer for what he was and destroyed the carefully contrived false image that he had previously developed. As our firm spread the truth through media stories, hundreds of additional defrauded victims came forward to provide new information and to join the legal efforts against the perpetrator.
At the time the law firm approached Red Banyan for assistance it was representing one plaintiff and attempting to recover $30,000. Ultimately, the firm pursued multiple class action lawsuits with dozens of plaintiffs from nearly all 50 states to reclaim in excess of $35 million in stolen funds.
While the victims will never completely recoup their lost investments (which for many meant their life savings), justice was achieved. Federal investigators were able to use the information that our strategic communications efforts helped produce, securing a 20-year conviction of the criminal.
An oft-cited cliché is that “the truth shall set you free.” In this case, the power of PR took away the freedom of this fraudster and prevented other innocent men and women from falling victim to his scams.