By Edward Snook
Jeff Lowance, Polished Con Artist?
USA – “Panamanian” self proclaimed multi-millionaire Jeff Lowrance, who enticed and relieved investors from around the globe of over a reported 60 million dollars over the past four years, has recently exposed himself as a fraud. Lowrance could soon join the ranks of indicted and/or convicted scam artists Bernie Madoff, Jules Bernard Fleder, Jack Arnold Brown, Tom Miller (Gideon Group), Dennis Scholenberg (Ex President of Big Bear Bank – Big Bear Lake, CA), Frank Quattrone and Art Nadel just to mention a few.
Lowrance retained the US~Observer in September to protect him from angry investors who reportedly stated they were going to travel to Panama and “do him in.” Having done a considerable amount of business with Lowrance in 2008, I agreed to assist him, but only if he was open and honest with me about his investment program. Jeff signed a contract with me on September 18, 2008. On this date Jeff informed me that he had the complete principal of every investor who had money invested with First Capital Savings & Loan (FCSL) on deposit. Jeff agreed to provide this guarantee in writing. He also agreed to provide me with a complete list of his investors. After Lowrance’s usual procrastination, on November 10, 2008, I received his guarantee in writing regarding investor’s principal and we also received the client list around this time.
Lowrance owed me $195,000.00 but informed me on September 18, 2008, that he was broke and only had $185,000.00 left besides the investor’s principal, which according to Lowrance was in a fund that could not be touched until December 5, 2008, or he would lose a great deal of the money due to early withdrawal penalties. Lowrance assured me that he was re-financing some condos he owned in Panama and that he would be paying me from those funds. At this time I advised Lowrance that he should update his investors before they became any more inflamed. I also advised Lowrance that he should tell them he would have their principal returned by January 5, 2009, because it would take him some time to acquire the money and time to wire it to investors. Lowrance agreed and sent this information via email to all his investors.
As early as November the US~Observer began investigating Lowrance and FCSL. On November 14, 2008, Jeff sent an email to an impeccable source stating that he had $42 million dollars on deposit – we continued with our investigation. January came and went without one word from Lowrance.
On January 6, 2009, I was contacted by Carlos Olmos, one of Jeff’s employees in Panama. Carlos stated that he had confronted Jeff about returning the investor’s money. He told Jeff that he couldn’t handle all the calls from angry investors. According to Olmos, Lowrance informed him that he wasn’t about to return all the investor’s money and walk away without any money after 4 years of hard work. This coincides with the Observer’s firm opinion that Lowrance has millions tucked away that he doesn’t want to part with. Carlos Olmos has since parted ways with Lowrance and he has informed the “King of Forex” not to contact him anymore.
Just days after January 6, 2009, the US~Observer sent a letter to all investors, giving them the opportunity to retain the Observer to go after the principal they had handed over to Lowrance. We gave this opportunity due to the fact that we had interacted with and became very much associated with approximately a dozen investors during the months of Sept., Oct., Nov. and December. In fact three investors had already hired us before we sent the letter out. A total of 64 investors have hired us out of a total of over 440 clients of FCSL.
A Ponzi Scheme?
A Ponzi Scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors out of the money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit. The term, “Ponzi scheme,” is used primarily in the United States, while other English-speaking countries do not distinguish colloquially between this scheme and other pyramid schemes.
The US~Observer set the date of January 28, 2009, as the final date we would accept contracts from investors and on the 29th this writer had a phone conversation with Lowrance. I confronted Lowrance with the fact that I had received calls from two new investors of his – one investor told me that he invested $200,000.00 with Jeff in October under his new program and that this investor had just learned of Jeff’s severe problems with FCSL clients. At this juncture Jeff had been trying to tell me he was broke, while mentioning not one word about the funds he supposedly had on deposit, so I asked him, “What about all the money from your new investors?” Jeff stated that this money was all gone and he offered to show me spread sheets. I told him I wasn’t interested and I wasn’t interested in listening to any more of his lies.
This fact alerted me to the possibility that Lowrance had used “new investor’s money” to pay bills related to clients of FCSL, which would constitute a Ponzi scheme. Later in the day I received a call from Carlos Olmos and I inquired about the new investor’s money. Carlos told me that he knew for sure that this money had been spent, but that he also knew that Jeff had a “lot of money somewhere.” I agreed with him and we ended our conversation, however I was left with one more piece of evidence pointing to a Ponzi scheme.
Facts About Jeff Lowrance
Everyone associated with Lowrance knows or should know that he is a pathological liar. According to numerous witnesses providing trading data, Jeff is currently trading large amounts of money successfully. Lowrance must have plenty of funds or he wouldn’t be able to trade…period. Jeff is no longer able to travel to Panama without being arrested for financial dishonesty. The FBI and other agencies have been repeatedly contacted and informed about Lowrance and they have done nothing to date about this mess to our knowledge. This could mean that they didn’t find evidence of a crime or they are simply showing incompetence as they have in other investigations the US~Observer has conducted, or Jeff is working with them.
Jeff has raised approximately $60 million dollars over the past 4 yrs. Lowrance has a total of 440-plus people who have invested with him, some investing their entire life savings, many of whom have been totally destroyed. Lowrance committed fraud against me on January 5, 2009, as he was supposed to pay me the approximate $150,000.00 that he owed me. He also committed fraud against 440 investors with FCSL by lying to them. It was my belief, and hope, as well as those working on this case with me that Jeff was simply trying to keep investor’s capital as long as possible to trade with and that he would return it when confronted on the 29th – This didn’t happen. Jeff’s brother Greg has stated, “Jeff will do nothing, will not pay out a penny, unless absolutely forced to, unless it is beaten out of him.” Get ready Jeff Lowrance!
Lowrance has committed fraud by selling “distributorships” to well over 100 people around the country. The distributorships were for people who wanted to make a “great supplemental living” from distributing Jeff’s, now defunct, newspaper USA TOMORROW. Jeff owes many employees their wages and some employee’s money they invested with him. Lowrance owes print and storage bills to businesses that extended him credit. Last but not least, Jeff Lowrance owes his lovely wife and son a huge debt for deserting them in Panama.
It was recently alleged that Lowrance made a “deal” with authorities to give them information on other investment programs and “off shore” investors (possibly his own investors) who are evading taxes. This is a possibility since Lowrance has been living in a motel room in Houston, Texas right under the watchful or maybe not so watchful eye of the FBI, who just happen to have a regional office there. If this is the case, those making such a deal with Lowrance can consider that their reputations will suffer irreparable damage once we find out who they are.
We could go on and on, however I think this article is a sufficient warning to anyone who is even remotely thinking about handing any money to Jeff Lowrance. The US~Observer has an ongoing obligation to expose corruption. We have kept this commitment for over 17 years and we have absolutely no intention of breaking it now – no matter who is hurt… People who Lowrance might target in the future have every right to know what type of person he is and the probability that they will never see their investment again.
Jeff Lowrance should immediately begin paying his investors what legally belongs to them. Until such time, the US~Observer remains committed to recovering the principal and interest owed to investors by Jeff Lowrance. If Jeff wants to reclaim his good name and reputation as a “Christian” man, he must make more than empty words as a good faith gesture. He must begin the transfer of funds to his investors who trusted and believed in him.
The Internet doesn’t allow anyone to hide from their dishonest business dealings. While it is regrettable, the US~Observer will ensure the world wide web is kept updated with his actions, honorable or dishonorable.
Editor’s Note: The Observer will have much more on Jeff Lowrance and FCSL in the near future. Anyone with information about Jeff or any aspect of his activities, etc. is urged to send such information via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A WORD OF WARNING TO ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED WITH JEFF LOWRANCE:
Do not attempt to keep this issue away from government. While it is true that if the Feds get involved, investors will most likely never see a dime of their money, it is also true that to discourage anyone from going to the authorities when they believe a crime has been committed against them can be considered “Obstruction of Justice.”