An exposé about much more than just Suze Orman
From Fraudulent FICO Fables to Corporate Cons, How Suze Orman and Her Crooked Cabal Manipulated the Media, Plundered the Poor, Stole from the Middle Class, Damaged the United States Economy, and Hijacked a Political Party
A Citizen Journalism Public Service Offering
This online multimedia book is based on the documentary film:
How Suze Orman SCAMMED the World (2016)
A comedy, tragedy, and IQ test all in one
Click here to download the free ebook
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Suze Orman SCAMvenger Hunt
1: From Waitress to “Financial Expert”: Orman’s History of Shams and Shenanigans
2: Seducing Corporations, Banks and Billionaires
3: Trumping Up Her Bank Account with a Gold “Pump and Dump” Scheme
4: Distortions of the “Queen Of Crisis”: Damaging the Economy for Personal Gain
5: The “Approved” Card Scam and Media Wide Fraud
6: Capitalizing On The Financial Illiteracy of The Poor, Minorities, and the “Occupy” Movement
7: The Scam-Ridden Card’s Demise and Cover-Up
8: Sociopathology and a Twitter Meltdown
9: And The Scams Go On…
This is an online multimedia book -- throughout the text, you’ll find underlined links to videos, articles, and other supportive documentation.
Trumping Up Her Bank Account
With a Gold "Pump and Dump" Scheme
In 2011 and 2012, Orman ran a strange “gold rush” scam that made little sense, but was extremely passionate, as Orman’s scams tend to be.
Orman posted over and over on Twitter insinuating that she had some kind of inside information that by November of 2012, gold was going to shoot up to 2100. In television shows and other appearances, Orman told everyone to put their retirement savings into gold.
Those who were paying attention would have seen Orman boast about buying and selling her own gold stocks to ride the roller coaster her extreme influence, and perhaps other unknown co-conspirator elements helped to create. Knowing she was protected from scrutiny or prosecution, Orman even bragged about how she sold her gold on the very day gold hit its top, claiming to have made a fortune, which I’m sure she did. Even after sold her gold, she kept telling everyone else to buy it, making buying gold her #1 prediction on CNBC for 2012.
Click here to watch the documentary video section about Orman's personal gold rush: Link 3-1
In 2011 and 2012, middle class citizens who were financially uneducated enough to follow Orman's big media wide push for people to buy gold lost big, while Orman cleaned up to the tune of millions by quickly buying and selling her own gold stocks, timed with the market ups and down that her efforts played a role in creating.
Some may say, well how could Suze Orman be influential enough to affect and time the ups and downs of the gold market? First, this pump and dump would likely have been an “Orman cabal” special, with additional factors from other cabal co-conspirators.
Also, remember that this was not long after Oprah’s protégé Suze Orman had been named as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine, and one year before Forbes declared Orman as the ninth most influential celebrity.
By this time, Orman was also being pushed and protected by political lobbyist and damage control firm SKDK, with extreme webs of corporate and political influence.
Therefore, it is not surprising that a widely publicized media blitz of emphatic promises of big returns on gold by a pumped up “personal finance advisor” certainly could have had enough influence to convince a whole lot of people, and their friends and family whom they shared Orman’s hot tip with, to quickly move their savings into gold.
Here’s a wide view chart of Orman’s pump and dump, using the chart tracking the price of gold:
Click here to view or download a large image of this chart: Link 3-2
A closer view:
Those who saw Orman’s tweets and television appearances with her confident predictions about gold going way up spread the bad advice to their friends and family, telling them to quickly move 15-20 percent of their retirement portfolio into gold.
After Orman made her mega-millions jackpot by betting on gold while pumping it, this happened to most people who followed her advice, without a single message from Orman telling her “clients” to sell, or a single question from any journalist about her disastrous advice:
Here are a few tweets from Orman’s barrage:
In the middle of Orman’s Twitter “Gold Rush” she posted one barely noticed tweet saying, “I sold my GOLD today only because I had a tremendous gain & had way too much money in GOLD. I do plan to buy some back - I will wait and see...I made a lot of money on it - I am not greedy (HA! -ed.) - hey if I am wrong I will buy back in - I do think it will get to $2100... I am happy with how it turned out.”
In these tweets, Orman is rubbing her hands in glee while wiping out the retirement accounts of millions of fellow human beings and essentially moving their money into her own bank accounts, some of which likely have other countries as their addresses, based on circumstantial if not concrete evidence.
Note how Orman gloats twice with the hint about how she’ll be buying back in (assumedly between her media “pumps”). It certainly looks like she is telling on herself, bragging about how she’s planning to buy and sell as she pumps and dumps the stock to coincide with her publicity strategist fueled headline blasts to “Buy Gold!!!”
I’ve noticed that Orman has a certain need to let people know she was smart enough to con them, as a final stab to finish the scams off. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is narcissistically happy that someone has been obliged to take time from other more positive projects to research and reveal at least some of her elaborate shenanigans in a book and film.
Suze Orman may not be an educated financial advisor or even a decent person, but she should go down in history next to Bernie Madoff as a very successful con artist.
In this next clip, you can watch Orman blasting her gold pump and dump to viewers of The View. She enthusiastically delivered this terrible advice, months after bragging that she had sold her own gold stock after making a massive profit: Link 3-3.
From the gold chart, one can imagine that Orman sold, then bought back in, then sold, then bought back in, all timed with her big roller coaster media blasts (and who knows what other factors) that at least in part used her public influence to convince many to move their money from other investments into gold, artificially pumping the price just in time for her to make a killing.
Is this the kind of advice a financial advisor should be telling people to do with their retirement savings?
As is common with Orman’s decrees, those who heard her tout gold certainly also told their friends and family about this great insider tip, which actually was an insider tip that would plunder their savings and fill up Orman’s already bloated accounts.
A “Special Report” on CNBC's website in December 2011 (Link 3-4), offered “important” economic predictions for 2012 from this person who never took a single financial college course while taking many extra years to get her bachelor's degree in social work. What Orman does have a lot of are personal profit motivations behind her advice, in this case, her gold “pump and dump.”
Yeah, not so much of a solid base, but don’t worry. Suze Orman, and probably some of her cabal friends, made millions.
Some have suggested that Orman can’t necessarily be faulted for people losing so much of their savings, because nobody can predict price fluctuations of gold. To them, I say, watch the clips, look at the tweets, and watch Orman give the impression with extreme passion and conviction that a huge increase in their gold investments can be absolutely expected within one year. Who wouldn’t want to move some money into that scenario?
Even if Orman’s emphatic media wide pumping had no effect whatsoever on the price of gold, Orman portrayed herself as having special insider information that the price was going to go way up. What Suze Orman did was even worse than insider trading; she was deceiving and scamming the public.
Those who don’t have much knowledge about finances are exactly Suze Orman’s prime con artist marks, the best victims for her scams. And if they’ve listened to her advice not to have a personal advisor beyond Orman’s products, so much the better for keeping them as easily, repeatedly fleeced sheep.
Once you see enough Suze Orman scams, it’s easier to notice her affectations when lying, her poker game “tells,” from flipping her hair with each lie to that kind of over the top passion she showed with her gold pump—behaviors you’ll see abundantly in the documentary film, especially during Orman’s media wide prepaid debit card scam.
Here's a clue as to who may have been paying Orman to pitch gold with such a fever: (Hint, they spend a lot of money advertising gold on FOX and other venues for a reason.) Link 3-5
Watch a video clip of Goldfellow CEO’s appearance on Orman’s OWN show: Link 3-6
Yes, right in the middle of her gold rush, Orman hosted the CEO of Goldfellow, who pays big bucks for commercial time on FOX and other stations, to appear on her Oprah Winfrey Network show that was also filled with many other scams and shenanigans.
We’ll take a few pages to look into Orman’s “Money Class” shenanigans as an offshoot of the deceitful gold “pump and dump,” newsletter and prepaid card scams she was running, all at the same time. In fact, Orman did a big infomercial pitch for her “Approved” card on that OWN Money Class show—it was tasteless and predatory, featuring an obvious shill playing a role and nervously playing along with the scam. (Link 3-6a)
Orman’s Money Class show also came with a very well publicized fifty thousand dollar contest to bribe viewers to watch OWN. Orman pitched the contest on many shows, including at the end of this interview with George Stephanopoulos, after pitching her prepaid scam on Good Morning America: Link 3-6b. Stephanopoulos’s response: “Boy, you’ve got a lot going on.” No kidding, George.
For this contest, Orman had corrupted Oprah Winfrey into fooling her millions of Twitter followers by sending out a tweet asking, “Anybody need more money?”
From the Hollywood Reporter article (Read the article: Link 3-7):
The billionaire OWN head raised a lot of eyebrows Monday morning when she asked her followers if they needed any money.
Does Oprah Winfrey have enough money to share?
By most standards -- a $2.7 billion net worth according to Forbes -- the answer to that question would be “yes.” And it probably gave the media mogul's nearly 9 million Twitter followers reason to get excited when she asked them the following question on Monday morning:
“Anybody need more money?”
The former talk show host kept the Internet waiting a breathless 8 minutes before following up with the anticlimactic details.
“Thought I'd get your attention with that last tweet,” she wrote. “I'm not giving it away but @SuzeOrman is tonight 9/8 central on Money Class on OWN.”
Responses ranged from the obligatory “LOL,” to a testy “That was low, ladies.”
Think about the thought process that would lead a multi-billionaire to use a question like that as a ploy to advertise a stupid television show that itself was little more than a series of infomercials in disguise. It was cruel and disrespectful.
Imagine how Oprah’s loyal fans felt, many desperately needing more money to pay for emergencies or basic necessities, as Oprah sat back for eight minutes, watching the begging stream in, after asking, “Anybody need more money?”
When Oprah finally added, “Thought I'd get your attention with that last tweet. I'm not giving it away but @SuzeOrman is tonight 9/8 central on Money Class on OWN,” that wasn’t true either. It was a long-term contest with significant questions about whether the prizes were ever actually given to real-life winners.
Orman would use a similar tactic in 2016 on the Home Shopping Network to con people into buying her $54 will and trust kit for the chance to be entered to win a $25,000 sweepstakes prize.
This “financial expert” touted buying her fifty-four dollar product to enter a sweepstakes as good financial advice. The HSN sweepstakes would also have loopholes in the terms that would allow Orman to easily avoid ever paying the prize, and no winner was announced on the promised announcement day, or ever (as of this book’s printing). You can read more about Orman’s 2016 sweepstakes scam in chapter nine, but here’s a quick preview:
Oprah’s deceptive plug is one more example of how Suze Orman is “bad company,” even for those with integrity and good character. Throughout her media appearances, Orman pitched watching the OWN show as a way viewers could win money by taking a quiz at the end. Part of the contest was for viewers to submit an essay on what they like most about Suze Orman, also giving Orman and Co. the right to do anything she wants with their laudatory, deceptively gathered essays of praise.
Here are some of the legal terms for Orman’s OWN network contest. Note that several words in the contest’s legal document were misspelled—Orman couldn’t even bear to part with enough money to pay someone to proofread her narcissistic contest terms.
“Entrants, upon submission of their Essay Submission to the Contest, hereby irrevocably grant to Sponsor, and each of its licensees, successors and assigns, the non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, no-cost license and right to use and otherwise exploit the Essay Submission, and all images, text and materials depicted therein, in whole or in part, in any manner or medium now or hereafter known or devised (including, without limitation, CDs, streaming media, film, television, videocassettes, print, interactive devices, mobile media, Internet and on-line systems), throughout the universe and in any and all languages, including, without limitation, the right to display, reproduce, record, perform, exhibit, distribute, copy, edit, change, modify, add to, subtract from, re-title and adapt the same, to combine it with other material and oteherwise use and exploit it without having to give any complensation or attribution to entrants…Each entrant, by participating in the Contest, except where legally prohibited, grants permission for Sponsor and its designees to use his/her name, address (city and state or province), photograph, voice and/or other likeness and prize information for advertising, trade and promotional purposes without further compensation, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide, in perpetuity, withoutn otice or review or approval.”
But was this widely touted $50,000 prize or the five promised $5,000 prizes ever paid? And if so, were they paid to random viewers? This contest certainly seemed to have a questionable outcome when Orman rattled off a few first names who she said were the winners, with an obviously deceptive Scammin’ Suze demeanor: Link 3-9.
With that in mind, let’s have another look at the long legal contest rules, with a whole lot of loopholes for Orman to get out of ever paying anything to anyone. Orman added some interesting additions to the extensive legal contest rules, probably assuming that nobody would actually read them all, certainly not whatever government agencies should be looking into such scams.
First, Orman and her cabal made sure nobody could sue her for not actually giving any of the prizes, with this: (Link 3-8 )
“All disputes will be resolved solely by binding arbitration and entrants are waiving the ability to bring claims in a class action format.”
Orman also put this gobbledygook into the legal contest agreement:
“Subject to applicable laws, each potential winner will be required to submit to a background check before being deemed eligible to receive their prize and Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any individual whose background check reveals information that is inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor wishes to associate with the Contest (which may be determined by Sponsor, at its sole discretion.)”
Each potential winner for the Contest may (in Sponsor’s sole discretion) be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility/release of liability/prize acceptance agreement (the “Prize Acceptance Release”) and return the Prize Acceptance Release before being eligible to receive his or her prize. If any potential winner fails or refuses to sign and return such Prize Acceptance Release within seven (7) days of the first (1st) notification attempt or if the prize notification is returned as rejected, faulty, unclaimed, or returned as undeliverable to such potential winner, such potential winner (in Sponsor’s sole discretion) may be disqualified, their potential prize forfeited, and an alternate may (in Sponsor’s sole discretion) be selected (such alternate to be the individual with the next highest score as determined in accordance with Section 7 above). If any potential winner is found to be ineligible, or if he or she has not complied with these Official Rules, he or she may be disqualified, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, and an alternate potential prize winner may then, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, be selected by the Judges. The Prize Acceptance Release is subject to verification by Sponsor.
Sponsor is not responsible for and shall not be liable for late, lost, damaged, intercepted misdirected, or unsuccessful efforts to notify the potential winners. When a potential winner is contacted, he/she will have a stated period of time within which to respond to the notification, or he/she will be disqualified and his/her prize forfeited, and an alternate potential winner may be selected. If a potential winner changes his/her e-mail address or other contact information after he/she registers, it is his/her sole responsibility to update his/her registration information notifying the Sponsor. Failure to update such registration information may affect a potential winner’s ability to receive a prize.
That was just one section for Orman’s contest rules—repetitions, typos, and all. What do you think the chances are this contest prize was ever given?
In her “Goldfellow episode” on the OWN Money Class show, Orman had audience members sell jewelry items to the CEO of Goldfellow, who I’m sure made a bundle when Orman’s pumping resulted in a massive bump in the price of gold.
At the same time that she was having people sell their gold on the OWN show, Orman was running her gold rush “pump and dump,” pushing people to buy gold. It's the Suze Orman specialty of getting paid from all directions for the same scam.
Uh oh - Look what happened next! All those people who listened to Orman practically begging them to buy gold, but who didn't happen to notice the couple tiny tweets that quickly came and went where she said she had sold hers and made huge profits, lost a whole lot of money, while Suze Orman made off like the bandit she is.
New York Times, April 2013: “Gold, Long a Secure Investment, Loses its Luster”:
Gold, pride of Croesus and store of wealth since time immemorial, has turned out to be a very bad investment of late. A mere two years after its price raced to a nominal high, gold is sinking — fast. Its price has fallen 17 percent since late 2011. Wednesday was another bad day for gold: the price of bullion dropped $28 to $1,558 an ounce…
“Gold was destroyed as a safe haven, proved to be unsafe,” Mr. Soros said in an interview last week with The South China Morning Post of Hong Kong. “Because of the disappointment, most people are reducing their holdings of gold.”
…Mr. Norstog, in Pocatello… put his money in a gold fund that was focused on mining company stocks. “If I had to do it all over again, I would have just bought the gold,” Mr. Norstog said. “At least that way I could have run my fingers through the glittering coins.”
And what happened to all those who followed Orman's emphatic, media-blasted advice to buy gold, which she all but guaranteed would go up to $2100 by late 2012?
For Suze Orman, it’s all a con-artist game, but for her victims, it meant losing their homes, their savings, their peace of mind, and more.
Orman and her partners don’t just run one scam at a time—they paint webs of deceit that work together to move money from the poor and middle class into her pockets and those of her corporate and bank partners.
In her gold “pump and dump,” Orman didn’t just soak up millions from timing the market with her media blasts. She also tied that scam into another sham that became a scandal, “Suze Orman’s Money Navigator Newsletter.”
“The Money Navigator is determined (by “financial expert of the world” Suze Orman herself, of course) to be the ONLY financial guide that you will EVER need!” How good does that poppycock advertisement sound to those who have no idea they’re pawns in the games of a scammer?
While pumping gold, Orman referred people to the newsletter to find out where they could buy the gold ETFs Orman was recommending, along with other dependable market advice. She gave the newsletter free for a year before charging $63 in subsequent years, but the few journalists who noticed said that even the free newsletter was too expensive.
Note the mention of Orman’s newsletter in this ridiculously self-laudatory bio Orman posted at the end of the same CNBC article where she was pushing gold as her number one recommendation for 2012:
Suze Orman is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today. Orman is undeniably America’s most recognized expert on personal finance. You can subscribe to her newsletter, The Money Navigator, at http://www.suzeorman.com/moneynavigator/
Orman's Money Navigator Newsletter would eventually end with a costly SEC settlement for Orman's partner, but not the slightest legal ramifications for “Teflon” Orman.
In 2011, Orman was all over the media, as usual, now giving away free subscriptions to her new Money Navigator Newsletter, which subsequently cost subscribers $63 a year. Although Orman made some coin on her fifty percent of the subscription fees, she was mainly using this sham to increase her credibility as a brilliant financial wizard who never took a single finance-related college course, yet was so magically smart and such a genius that everyone should listen to her newsletter.
Here you can see how Orman integrated her newsletter pitches with the gold “pump and dump” scheme:
Since Orman’s schemes have many prongs, thanks to her devious but brilliant political lobbyists and media strategists, she was also using the newsletter as a means to get people to buy her new book, which came with a free subscription, and to watch her show on OWN that came with free subscriptions.
In fact, Orman had partnered with an actual finance expert who was already running very successful newsletters, and offered him big Suze Orman style promises.
My understanding, based on conversations with Grimaldi, is that Orman convinced him to put tens of thousands of dollars of his own money into creating the Money Navigator newsletter and website. Orman’s part would be to put her face on the newsletter, and to use her clout to convince people to sign up for free one-year subscriptions, which would then turn into paid subscriptions.
This next excerpt is from an article by Felix Salmon of Reuters. Once he saw Orman’s prepaid card fraud and newsletter shenanigans, Salmon became a recovered Suze Orman supporter, and interviewed her for an article he ended up titling, “Suze Orman's conflicts.” The interview took place in January 2012, in the middle of Orman's gold pump and dump, newsletter push, and prepaid debit card scam.
In the Reuters interview, Orman bragged about the newsletter’s ETF for gold going up 5% in a week and a half. Gee, I wonder how that happened! This was when Orman was practically begging people on TV shows and Twitter to put 15-20% of their savings into gold ETFs right away, with her prediction of great wealth in their futures. In interview responses, Orman practically admits she is running a scam. (Link 3-15)
Reuters journalist Felix Salmon explains:
Of course, I have my own opinions on financial matters as well. And some things are just completely laughable. Like, for instance, the idea that anybody, ever, should spend $63 per year for an investment newsletter with buy and sell portfolio recommendations which are designed to beat the market. But, that’s exactly what Orman is selling.
And, she told me, “that newsletter is fabulous”, adding that it “has been beating the market by a lot”, and that it was “rated number one” by someone or other, and — I have to admit this is where she rendered me utterly speechless — “we issued a buy for an ETF for gold, we are up 5% in that ETF in a week and a half. So you have to look at the returns and judge it on the returns.”
Remember, this is a newsletter giving investment advice for people’s retirement accounts. And here’s Suze, bragging about the 10-day return on a gold ETF? “If you want to dispense information that you just buy and hold,” Orman told me, “I wouldn’t want to see your track record.”
Well, I’ll happily ignore Orman’s advice on this front, as well as the advice in her Money Navigator newsletter, and I’m going to stick to my buy-and-hold strategy instead, even though Orman’s telling me that “index funds are no longer going to be the way to do things, you need to buy ETFs with high dividend yields.”
Grimaldi told me during a conversation that Orman said that if he put another $30,000 into the website, Oprah was planning to put the newsletter on her coveted holiday show's list of “Favorite Things.”
For those who understand Orman’s use of false extravagant promises to elicit greed and convince people to put their skills and resources into the Orman cesspool, it is clear just from hearing this that this “Oprah’s Favorite Things” outcome was never even a remote possibility. But Grimaldi believed her, as I once also believed her extravagant promises that were 100% lies.
Along with Orman using free gifts of the newsletter to sell her other products and give her a sheen of expertise, she also made sure all the money received from the newsletter first went directly to herself. Anyone who re-subscribed after their one-year gift subscription ran out would pay the money directly to Orman's company, which would then cut a check to the actual expert doing all the work for 50%, minus “service fees.”
A year after pitching “her” newsletter, Orman herself would admit, while trying to distance herself from the newsletter after milking it for all it was worth, that she had nothing whatsoever to do with the actual content of this newsletter. That is not surprising, given how much Orman brags that she never got above a grade “C” and never took a single finance-related college course while getting her B.A. in Social Work, a field in which she never worked.
As with most Suze scam scenarios, her partner's good reputation ended up being all but destroyed. Even while all the money being paid to the newsletter was still going directly into her personal account, Orman posted Twitter messages claiming that she had nothing whatsoever to do with the newsletter and that Grimaldi was violating the law by using her name without permission, which was an outright lie intended to harm his reputation and livelihood—a Suze specialty.
Here are some articles about the Money Navigator newsletter, which for nearly two years, Orman touted as “her” newsletter.
From US News: Why Suze Orman's Free Newsletter is Too Overpriced.” (Link 3-10)
Grimaldi is the poster child for running a fund with high fees. According to one report, he charges a management fee of 1.63 percent for his Sector Rotation Fund, which invests in exchange-traded funds. In stark contrast, the average expense ratios (which reflect management fees charged by the fund) for exchange-traded funds managed by Vanguard are only 0.17 percent.
It’s bad enough that Orman is endorsing a newsletter with questionable data. It’s worse that her endorsement may encourage investors to believe that newsletters have any predictive value.
Orman has given away more than 50,000 copies of Grimaldi’s newsletter, which costs $63 a year. She is quoted as saying she is “proud to be able to provide our newsletter to people who are looking for solid financial advice.”
Giving away this newsletter is no defense for Orman. It’s still too expensive.
“Suze Orman's Bad Investment Newsletter,” from Reuters: (Link 3-11)
Ms. Orman declined to address specific questions about the newsletter or Mr. Grimaldi’s background. “Mark Grimaldi is my trusted partner in The Money Navigator,” she said in an emailed statement. “He is ethical, honest and achieves stellar results that consistently outperform the market. I’m proud to be able to provide our newsletter to people who are looking for solid financial advice.”
Lying about being ranked by Hulbert Financial Digest is, needless to say, neither ethical nor honest. Which means, on an unsympathetic reading of Suze Orman, that she’s lying too.
When I spoke to Orman last week, she made it very clear that her relationship with Grimaldi’s newsletter was no different than her relationship with the Approved Card — she’s an owner of both of them, thinks that both of them are very good products, and is proud of them both. (The same goes for her FICO package, too.)
Orman also told me twice that the newsletter was rated number one — she was adamant about that. And now it turns out that it isn’t. I spoke to Orman on Tuesday; maybe Zweig hadn’t contacted her with his questions yet at that point. But at best Orman is extremely incurious about the “fabulous” newsletter that she is so keen to hawk and defend. And at worst she’s happy lying about it being ranked highly by Hulbert.
Orman made the same kinds of incorrect claims about the newsletter that got Grimaldi in hot water, but without a single consequence.
After all, Suze Orman has no credentials and is listed by name as being exempt from the Department of Labor’s rule that financial advisors must act in the best interest of their clients. But Orman’s partner did have credentials, and the same government agencies who have given Orman’s scams a complete pass went after her credentialed newsletter partner with a vengeance.
From the Wall Street Journal: Should Suze Orman’s Newsletter Partner Be Pumping His Ratings? (Link 3-12)
This weekend’s Intelligent Investor column looked at The Money Navigator, an investing newsletter jointly owned by personal-finance guru Suze Orman and money manager Mark Grimaldi of Wappingers Falls, N.Y. It raised questions about the accuracy of some of the information on Grimaldi’s investment performance. In a statement to the Journal, Orman called Grimaldi “my trusted partner in The Money Navigator” and said he is “ethical, honest and achieves stellar results that consistently outperform the market.”
This Covester article brings up other ways Orman and Grimaldi were making money from questionable advice in the newsletter. “The Suze Orman Retirement hedge fund”: (Link 3-13)
It seems that Orman partnered with an existing newsletter provider, whose author/portfolio builder Mark Grimaldi also happens to be the lead manager of the Sector Rotation mutual fund (NAVFX).
The monthly newsletter offers a number of model portfolios that subscribers are encouraged to follow in their own brokerage accounts...(an) investment newsletter that encourages her rank-and-file American young woman to put 35% of her retirement savings into junk bonds and a sector rotation fund - run by her newsletter partner—that's heavily invested in leveraged ETFs?” Et tu, Suze?”
Along with the newsletter came Orman's pitches for everyone to buy gold. She specifically recommended that people buy ETFs, and that they use the information in “her” newsletter to guide their decisions.
Click here to watch video of Orman pitching gold with her confident prediction that gold would hit $2100 by November 2012. (Link 3-14) Orman’s overly enthusiastic affect in that video clip is a sure sign of her deceptive manipulations in progress.
Then came more problems regarding the “Suze Orman Money Navigator Newsletter,” from US News:
Perhaps most troubling is an article in The Wall Street Journal by respected financial journalist Jason Zweig. Zweig discussed glaring problems with a newsletter issued by Mark Grimaldi, an investment manager. Orman is a 50 percent owner of the newsletter, which costs $63 a year. She has given away more than 50,000 trial subscriptions. Issues of the newsletter contained a number of errors, which included providing returns for a fund managed by Grimaldi prior to the time the fund was in existence, and understating the performance of the S&P 500 in nine of the 10 years cited. The accurate returns of the S&P 500 meant that Grimaldi’s portfolio trailed—rather than beat—he performance of the index in 2009.
Here’s a Wall Street Journal video interview you can watch about some of the newsletter issues, “Suze Orman's Newsletter Raises Eyebrows”: (Link 3-16)
WSJ 'Intelligent Investor' Jason Zweig profiles personal finance expert Suze Orman and her business partner in producing a lucrative monthly newsletter.
I tend to give Grimaldi some benefit of the doubt, especially since he had partnered with someone who easily convinces others to “fudge the truth” to benefit her pocketbook. Mark also communicated with me numerous times, so I got to see up close once again how damaging it is to have sociopathic Suze run through your life.
At the time, Orman was committing blatant fraud all over the place, while running her “Approved” card scam on shows from Good Morning America to The View, to ABC News and local news stations across the country, pitching her prepaid debit card as a reasonably priced vehicle through which card users could expect to get a better FICO score. What are a few minor bookkeeping errors in the face of that shameful level of media wide fraud?
Orman’s newsletter drama took place right at the same time more than one hundred financial journalists, top to bottom, were writing articles to warn the public about Orman’s prepaid card. It was the first time some of these journalists soberly realized that they had been recommending a scammer for all those years.
All that negative media attention on Orman’s “Approved” card scam also brought scrutiny upon the newsletter she was pitching at the same time. For Grimaldi, it was a matter of bad timing on the Suze Orman scam timeline.
With Orman’s prepaid card fraud taking place at the exact same time, this would have been the ideal opportunity for government agencies to finally stop her scams and bring justice to victims of her frauds. However, because of what CNN’s Chris Cuomo rightfully labeled the “Orman Cabal,” no government or other official agency would touch her.
But Orman’s newsletter partner was a different story. He had credentials, and was expected to follow rules of ethics. Once Zweig and other journalists noticed that some of his numbers were off, Grimaldi in a sense became Orman’s scapegoat, taking the fall, while the real criminal went off once again to the next set of scams.
And wait for it … one, two, three…
From “Suze Orman Parts Ways with Newsletter” in the Wall Street Journal: (Link 3-17)
Today on Twitter, Orman distanced herself from the publication. Grimaldi “should own it outright given that it was all him. Also I wanted to give it all away for the first year for free to test it,” she tweeted in reply to @mrrainey619.
“I stopped working with TMN because all the ideas concepts recommendations were Marks so he should simply own it outright,” she also tweeted. “Just that simple.”
Yet the ideas, concepts and recommendations in the newsletter were always Grimaldi’s, before and after Orman invested in the publication, according to interviews Grimaldi gave to the Journal in January. Orman had given away more than 50,000 copies of the newsletter, according to earlier interviews with Grimaldi and her spokeswoman.
Orman had formerly stood behind Grimaldi, even as he retracted some of his claims after inquiries from the Journal…Orman referred to the publication as “my Money Navigator newsletter” in an interview with TV host Piers Morgan in February.
Grimaldi didn’t respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Orman referred a request for comment to Kathy Travis, Orman’s business partner, who didn’t respond.
Then came this:
Law360, New York (January 30, 2014) – A New York-based money manager who co-founded an investing newsletter with CNBC personality Suze Orman on Thursday settled a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission action over the newsletter’s allegedly false claims.
Mark A. Grimaldi, who owns Navigator Money Management Inc., agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty to settle an SEC administrative case, the commission said Thursday. The commission targeted Grimaldi for allegedly distributing misleading statements through Twitter and his newsletters, including one called “The Money Navigator,” which he co-founded with CNBC’s Orman.
Again, Grimaldi’s error was not even a grain of sand next to the mountain of scams and shenanigans Orman has perpetrated throughout her career, including the widespread financial fraud she was committing at the very same time.
At this point, it became more beneficial for Scamming Suze to admit that she had done nothing more than put her face and name on the work done by Grimaldi and his team. Orman had little more use for the newsletter now that she used those free subscriptions to bolster sales of her Money Class book, which continued to offer the free subscription in a new edition published after she claimed to have parted ways with the newsletter.
Orman had also used giving away (Grimaldi’s work on) the newsletter to claim altruism while fooling people into buying her “Approved” prepaid card, as she did in this very telling, scamalicious interview on Piers Morgan’s CNN show: Link 3-18.
Then came more lies on top from Orman:
Suze Orman can’t just let those she cons leave with serious damage—she also has to cast false aspersions and ruin their reputations personally, as she did by announcing the blatant lie that Grimaldi was using her name on the newsletter without permission, even while their contract was still intact and Orman was still receiving 100% of all money paid for the newsletter, from which she sent Grimaldi 50%, minus “service fees.”
Orman’s newsletter partner was none too pleased:
Since Orman was claiming to have no part in the newsletter, Grimaldi posted the check he had just received from Orman as proof that all the money that came into the newsletter still went directly into Suze Orman’s bank account, from which she would send him 50%, minus whatever service fees she deemed reasonable, considering, as she admitted when faced with legal questions, Grimaldi and his team did all the work:
It’s no fun to get scammed by Suze Orman.
Several months later, Orman took one more swipe in this message to her well-fleeced flock:
Go to Chapter Four:
"Distortions of the 'Queen Of Crisis':
Damaging the Economy for Personal Gain"
View other more positive videos
on the Night Lotus YouTube channel
Night Lotus Productions:
Bringing Light to the World Through Creative Works
with A Website of Free Multimedia Spiritual Resources