How To Handle Investment Fraud

Jerry Fetta
13 min readNov 13, 2023
How To Handle Investment Fraud by Jerry Fetta

If you’ve not read my book Man In the Arena or seen my video update about the Tycoon Trading/Daily Bread Fund investment fraud that was committed against me in 2021 and 2022, I want to give you a brief description of it here so you can understand my firsthand experience with handling this.

First, financial fraud is a multi-billion dollar per year problem in the United States, with investment related fraud being the #1 reported source. The statistics that I’ve seen on this have shown that this type of fraud has increased to a highest ever record over the last year. It’s a pretty huge problem.

This can go from big bank fraud like Wells Fargo, to large public influencers like Tai Lopez, or smaller scale private funds like Tycoon Trading/Daily Bread Fund as I’ll describe here.

In my case, my childhood best friend, Garrett Elder, started a Private Placement Fund for Foreign Currency Trading in Anchorage, Alaska that turned out to be an investment scam. He’d been soliciting me to invest with him for many years and I always told him no and told him I’d need to see that he’s legally setup correctly, had 5 years of consistent profits, and a customer service interface where I could regularly check my account values.

Many years went by and one day, he called me saying he now had these things in place. I asked for proof and he sent me a document from the Securities Exchange Commission saying he had setup a private fund and disclosed it to them. He then showed me his last 5 years of reports of positive returns, which included losses that he showed me he’d managed to make back. We did a very long phone call where he talked to me about his mission to help people have a better option for investing. That resounded with my desire to help people with their finances as well and struck the right chord with me emotionally.

Now, if you don’t know Garrett Elder personally, I’ve known him since I was 12. He was the last person I would have ever predicted would become a criminal or a scammer. I went to church with his family, his parents were like my 2nd parents, and Garrett Elder was my best friend through middle school and high school.

Garrett was a straight A student, never got into trouble, was an avid Christian and leader in church, the Valedictorian of our graduating High School Class, voted to be most successful, and got a full ride scholarship to college to University of Anchorage, Alaska where he studied finances.

He was a bookkeeper for his father, Chris Elder, who was a locally renowned Alaskan real estate investor who touted that he had never lost money in 40 years and always paid everyone as agreed.

I had already been investing with Chris Elder in his real estate fund by the time Garrett approached me to invest. Think about it. Who better to invest with than someone you know and trust this much? His dad was a local public official, a member of the leadership at his church, and in my community, was known as the most financially savvy guy around. I had visited the real estate properties that Chris Elder was investing in and seen them with my own eyes and I knew many others who had investments with Chris Elder who had done very well. With proof of his investments, many trusted mutual Alaskans who had invested, and a 40 year track record, I decided this would be the main place I would invest my own money.

Now, back to Garrett Elder. I invested a little bit with Garrett Elder in his Daily Bread Fund for Foreign Currency Trading to see how it would go. To my surprise, each month when I would check my online statement, it showed that I made 2–4% per month pretty regularly. Each month that kept happening and I did the math and realized that I’d be making close to a 40–50% annual return. At one point I considered selling everything and putting it all with Garrett…which unfortunately some of his investors did and fortunately, I decided not to do. However, I knew banks were very big on Foreign Currency Trading and also knew it was a top profit center for J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and I somehow had the luck of my childhood best friend apparently being a genius in this exact area.

Before I put too much more money in, I requested to withdraw money. I knew that if there was an issue withdrawing money, this might be too good to be true and that I should not put anymore in. I made a withdrawal request, knowing that I would pay early withdrawal fees to do that, but I figured I would rather lose money to fees than lose it all if something was wrong. I had my money within the week. And the early withdrawal fees had been waived.

So I put more in.

As I continued to earn more income, I would put the majority of my money with Chris Elder (Garrett’s dad), but I would increase my amount with Garrett as well. I enjoyed seeing 2–4% monthly returns. I did this for a year or two and all went well, even through the 2020 pandemic while many other assets seemed to be losing money.

Until one day, I saw that Garrett Elder was being investigated by the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities. My heart stopped. I emailed him and texted him because I knew that couldn’t be right. No response. I contacted his mom and dad, and his dad took my call and told me Garrett committed fraud and lost virtually all of the money in his fund.

As things unfolded, Chris Elder sent me and his other investors a letter stating that his son Garrett had committed fraud and that Chris’s real estate fund actually had significant investments with Garrett Elder and that this meant Chris’s fund had lost a majority of assets, been victim to Garrett’s fraud, and could not pay me and the other investors as agreed anymore.

All of this was like a gut-punch to me. I had the majority of investment assets in these two funds and I found out that one of them, Tycoon Trading/Daily Bread Fund, had been asked to Cease and Desist by the Alaska State Division of Banking & Securities and was now under federal investigation by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) and Department of Justice. It turned out that Garrett Elder was losing money this entire time, creating falsified account statements, and paying investor withdrawal requests with money from new investors coming in to his fund and lavishly spending money from his investors on mountain top real estate, private jets, and large donations. But you need to understand, from the stance of an investor it appeared we were making money every month, no losses were incurred, and that we could withdraw whenever we needed to. I loved Garrett and thought if he is making me this much money he deserves to live the high life a little bit. But the appearance of success couldn’t have been further from reality.

The next 6–9 months following this would prove to be the hardest time of my life financially, emotionally, and mentally.

Imagine your childhood best friend doing this to you and remembering times where he called you saying how well his fund was doing and asking for more money…and knowing that it was all a lie and he was just trying to scam you. And imagine investing in a real estate fund with someone you considered a father figure and finding out that real estate fund actually invested a significant amount of money in Foreign Currency Trading and didn’t disclose it and was now victim of fraud and lost most of your money as well?

Now imagine knowing dozens of people who are close to you who got taken advantage of too?

The irony, just a month before all of this was made public, I sent Garrett a heartfelt email thanking him for what I thought was positive investment performance, reminiscing on old times growing up together, and telling him I looked forward to a long future of prosperity with him.

All of this is what occurred and what I experienced. There are over 100 victims of Tycoon Trading/Daily Bread Fund and I’m writing this today because today is Garrett Elder’s court case and it’s weighing heavy on my mind.

What Garrett did is criminal. And rightfully so, he is being prosecuted and pleading guilty for his crimes. And the fact that his father, Chris Elder, invested so much money with him as well, just like I did personally, out of trust for someone he loved and cares about just adds to the sting.

Maybe you were a victim of the Tycoon Trading/Daily Bread Fund situation, maybe you were a victim of something completely dis-related, or maybe you’re just reading this and interested in avoiding losses and fraudulent investments. Either way, I’m going to share a few things I’ve learned the hard way through this in hopes that it can help.

#1: Change your language:

I was recently at a charity event to help stop human trafficking and the speaker said something that stopped me in my tracks. She said that when someone has been trafficked, they don’t like being referred to as a victim. A victim implies a lower position, weakness, and makes them feel like they are now identified by what happened to them. She said instead, they like to be referred to as a survivor. Being a survivor doesn’t negate the crime committed, but it does mean you made it through to fight another day and you aren’t giving up. I decided to think of myself this way as well and found that it really did help. If you’ve been impacted by fraud, I encourage you to do the same.

#2: Proper Due Diligence:

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Jerry, if you checked out the fund documents that Garrett Elder filed with the Securities Exchange Commission, looked at his historical performance, got referrals of other investors who had a good experience, checked your account statements regularly, and were also able to withdraw money AND were best friends with him since you were like 12…isn’t that due diligence?”

Yes and no.

I thought long and hard about this and there were 3 things I should have asked for and didn’t know to ask for. I learned the hard way and now I do know.

First is an audited profit and loss by an unbiased and 3rd party CPA on the fund itself. Unless a fund has something to hide, I believe this should be no problem. Most funds are an LLC anyways and will need to prepare these statements for tax filings so why not share them with investors? Had I done that, I would have immediately saw that Garrett was running a scam operation and not only not invested with him, but I would have reported him at that time myself.

Second is his actual trading statements. He was trading in foreign currency and I don’t know anything about individual trades in that market. But if I had requested his actual trading statements, he probably would have refused and I would have known something was off. If he did provide them, I could have then gone to a Financial Analyst, Investment Advisor or Financial Planner and asked them to review it for me and would have seen his trades weren’t profitable.

Third is how much of his own money he has in his fund and proof of that. You see, it’s kind of the same concept as going to a restaurant where the chef eats his own cooking. If he won’t, wouldn’t you be suspicious as to what’s really in the food?

Ask for SEC filings, profit and losses, prospectuses, proof of assets and statements showing success, and really dig deep on your due diligence. I believe now that if I feel like I don’t fully understand something when it comes to an investment or that something is missing, I’m probably right and I need to listen to that.

#3: Reporting Fraud or Suspected Fraud

If you have evidence of fraud or suspected fraud, you can and should report it to the following:

  • Your state’s Division of Banking & Securities or the equivalent
  • The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Association)
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)

Here is a link where that can be done with the SEC.

Do not be afraid to disclose the details of what happened. As I learned, you could be helping dozens or even hundreds of others who were also impacted. In my case, as soon as I confirmed the truth about what was happening, I called the Alaska State Division of Banking & Securities and the FBI to report what I knew. It was embarrassing and felt shameful, but I’m glad I did it because I believe it helped.

#4: Confront the reality of rebuilding

This one is the hardest. Unfortunately, when someone commits fraud, if they spent or lost the money, my experience has told me it isn’t likely you’ll be made whole right away if at all. And if it does happen, it might take a really long time. When I lost my assets, for a moment, I went into a pretty dark place emotionally and I didn’t want to face the fact that everything I’d worked so hard for could be gone just like that. But I had to remind myself if I built it up there once, I can do it again. And yes it sucks to have to go through something like this, but I now have knowledge and experience that can make me a better investor. I increased my hours of work, cut expenses down, and really focused on saving more money. And any investment I do now, must pass all of the points I mentioned before already.

#5: Don’t get caught up in the negativity of it all

If there was fraud there will probably be news reports, investigations, and court cases. This is all part of it, but I can tell you first hand that following these things too closely can be really upsetting. It’s a bit like having an open wound that you keep touching and irritating. It doesn’t really heal. In my case, because this involved my childhood best friend, I really had to limit myself on how much of it I looked at and paid attention to. You know yourself better than I do, but I will tell you that if after watching, reading or looking at something I feel worse, just like with food, that to me means I should stop consuming it. Anything that makes me feel fear, grief, anger, or other negative emotions is something I want to limit my consumption of even if it is pertinent. In a case of fraud, the investigators will keep you in the loop on the important things you should know.

#6: Take responsibility

Nobody put a gun to my head and made me invest. That was my choice. And do you know what all of my bad choices have in common across the board? After I knew they were bad choices, in hindsight I knew I wouldn’t have still done them. Investment fraud is no different. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have invested. But I did invest. Just like when I was a small child and I decided to learn what an electrical outlet was by putting my finger in it. I didn’t know better, experienced a bad outcome, and then I knew better and wouldn’t have done it had I known my experience would be so painful. Justice needs to be served and criminals need to be caught. But also, if the money wasn’t stolen from me or coerced someway, I made the conscious decision to invest knowing there was risk involved and I need to take responsibility for that part and use my rather expensive new knowledge to avoid doing it again and share it with others so they know not to make the same mistakes as well.

I hope that’s helped a little bit so far.

Lastly, I want to share with you what I am doing about this whole thing.

As I stated already, I’ve personally changed my investment criteria A LOT because of all of this. I’m still in rebuilding mode.

But second, I was an example of someone who did “everything right” financially speaking and because of someone else’s dishonesty and criminal actions, my investments were wiped out.

I am currently in the process of establishing a Private Foundation so that I can donate a percentage of my income toward helping to create prevention, awareness, and restoration to help eradicate financial fraud. I see first hand how much work goes into an investigation and serving justice to the criminal at fault, but I see an opportunity to provide more support to those impacted. From there, I plan to establish a Public Charity with this same purpose so that the general public can start helping as well. The ripple effect created by someone experiencing financial fraud is wide reaching and I believe if it continues at the rate it’s going, it will impact all of us whether directly or indirectly. Something can be done about it.

I hope you’ve found this article insightful and that if you were impacted somehow by Garrett Elder and his Tycoon Trading/Daily Bread Fund investment scheme, I feel for you. If you were a victim of any type of financial fraud, I feel for you as well. I never imagined I’d experience this in my life. My goal as I stated in this article is to the be one who ends it. And know that whether you know me or not, I’m here to help and I am going to fight for anyone who needs support in this area.

If you would like to read my full story about Tycoon Trading, the investigation and the related fraud, I’ll post a copy of the link for my book here. The proceeds from every copy are 100% being donated to help end financial fraud.

If you were a victim of Garrett Elder and Tycoon Trading, reach out to me directly and I will give you a free copy as my condolence for your financial loss. And I will keep track of your name because I intend to help you.

Click here to donate for a copy!

To Purpose, Wealth & Freedom,

Jerry Fetta

Jerry Fetta is the CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX. He is a nationally recognized financial expert featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Fox, Chicago Weekly News, New York Finance, interviewed on over 45 podcasts with world renowned experts, earning endorsements and affiliations throughout his career with names like Kevin O’Leary, Grant Cardone, Dave Ramsey, and Pamela Yellen.

Jerry’s mission in life is to help create millions of financially educated and solvent families achieving greater financial freedom and sharing the truth about money with those around them.

Learn more at www.WealthDynamX.com

(DISCLAIMER: The information in this content should not be considered tax, financial, investment, or any kind of professional advice. Only a professional diagnosis of your specific situation can determine which strategies are appropriate for your needs. Wealth DynamX can and does not provide advice unless/until engaged by you.)

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Jerry Fetta

Jerry Fetta is the CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX. Jerry’s mission in life is to help create millions of financially educated and wealthy families.