PRESS RELEASE
Securities Regulators Warn About Fraudulent Foreign Bank Schemes, a/k/a Prime Bank Loan Schemes or International Trading Programs
 
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 16, 2001 
 
Contact: Irving Faught or Melanie Hall
  Oklahoma Department of Securities
  405-280-7700
 
 
Oklahoma City/////  Irving L. Faught, Administrator of the Oklahoma Department of Securities, said today that Oklahomans need to be on their guard against investing in fraudulent foreign bank schemes. Regulators across the country call these types of programs "prime bank loan schemes." They are also known as international trading programs, high yield, bank secured trading programs and other similar names. The investment itself may be called a note, a guarantee, a letter of credit, or a debenture. Regardless of the labels, these investments have many common elements and are inherently fraudulent.

Promoters of prime bank loan schemes weave a complex tale of high stakes world finance in international banking circles by sprinkling their stories with references to official institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the Bretton Woods Convention, the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Bank and the Federal Reserve, and impressive sounding financial terms such as "hypothecating" debt instruments, facilitators, bank debentures, and off-shore bank accounts.

Promoters assure potential investors that the investment is risk free, secured by bank guarantees or U.S. Treasury bills and promise extremely high returns, often more than 150% per year. The promoters explain these high returns by claiming the money will be pooled to invest in secret programs otherwise reserved for top financiers on Wall Street, London or Geneva. These programs supposedly acquire an instrument that will be traded among off-shore banks or on a worldwide secret exchange.

Promoters tell potential investors that international banks participate in these programs all the time, but keep them secret so they alone can reap the huge returns. For that reason, promoters state, if you ask your bank about these programs they will tell you that they don't exist. Even the international banks that are supposedly handling the transaction won't confirm its existence.

Prime bank loan schemes are all smoke and mirrors. Such secret international money trading programs do not exist. Promoters often take advantage of trust built with potential investors through religious or other common affiliations.

The Oklahoma Department of Securities urges investors, or anyone approached as a potential investor, in such a scheme to contact the Department. If you are approached by anyone offering high returns based on international trading, investigate thoroughly before you invest.
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This press release, and related information, is available on the Securities Commission's web site at securities.ok.gov, by phone at (405) 280-7700, or in writing at:  Oklahoma Securities Commission, 204 North Robinson, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.