Archive for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

9/11 sculpture embroiled in alleged fraud scheme

June 24, 2009

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A towering sculpture in the Maryland mountains depicting three New York City firefighters raising the U.S. flag at ground zero was financed by investor fraud, federal regulators say.

Now the 40-foot bronze statue unveiled in November 2007 at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Md., is for sale. A court-appointed receiver and the sculptor, Stanley J. Watts of Kearns, Utah, say they hope to raise at least $425,000 to repay investors in Coadum Advisors Inc. — and perhaps have something left over for the artist.

In a complaint filed in January 2008 in federal court in Atlanta, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged Coadum raised $30 million by promising investors returns as high as 6 percent per month. The SEC contends it was a Ponzi scheme that illegally used money from new investors to pay off earlier investors.

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