03/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ponzi Scheme Targeted Deaf Investors, Say US Regulators

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. securities and futures regulators halted a $4.4 million Ponzi scheme that targeted deaf investors in the United States and Japan, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday.

Since at least September 2007, Hawaii-based Billion Coupons and its chief executive Marvin Cooper raised $4.4 million from 125 investors through personal contacts, seminars at deaf community centers and its website, the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleged.

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