Ingrid Robinson – Financial Fraud Investigations
After Ingrid Robinson’s beloved daughter, Michelle, died, Ingrid’s passionate quest to celebrate her daughter’s memory manifested in the form of an economic development project that included a lakeside, mixed-use resort of townhouses and boutique shops, north of San Francisco. Ingrid named her project, “Michelle’s Diamond”, which was set to revitalize the small, scenic town of Clearlake, California.
Ingrid’s dream of developing this legacy project looked to be certain when a top-ranked private investment firm, Remington Financial Group (or Remington Capital), promised to fund the entire project. However, Ingrid uncovered that the firm was perpetrating a massive Advanced Fee Scam. Ingrid lost her investment and discovered other average American business people had fallen prey to the same group of scammers. The scheme involved 1,900 victims and $26 million throughout a six year period, and was similar to crimes in the movie, “American Hustle.” However, it since has been determined that the scheme had been going on for more than twenty years, involving millions of dollars scammed from the general public.
Ingrid became a “Mother-on-a-Mission.” Against all odds, after every law enforcement and government agency she contacted turned her away, Ingrid single-handedly and relentlessly pursued the self-professed billion dollar investment company. Through her efforts, she discovered thousands of other victims of financial fraud in the U.S. and abroad who were scammed millions of dollars by Remington Financial, and uncovered the largest Advanced Fee Fraud scheme in U.S. history. She sought justice through coordinating joint efforts of the FBI, Securities Commission, IRS and Congress in Washington DC, and brought the swindlers to justice. At the same time, Ingrid was in a fight for her life against a predatory bank who was illegally trying to take her home, the home where she raised her daughter, Michelle, the final link to her beloved daughter’s memory.
This is the story about Ingrid’s journey against all odds, her battle of pure grit, tenacity and self-determination of one woman who, through sheer force of will, fought the system, forced the government to take notice and stand up for what was right so that others would not suffer what she had been forced to endure.
Ingrid’s story is a tribute to how one person can make a difference to evoke change. What made the prosecution of Remington Financial Group so significant, and that what Ingrid did was amazing, is that she is the first person ever in U.S. history to identify so many victims and convince the Dept. of Justice the size of the crime and its importance to middle-class America.
One woman, with a singular purpose and sense of personal justice, who refused to be wronged, triumphed over greed, arrogance and power.
One mother, in the name of love…with nothing left to lose.
In the Beginning
Born to Jewish Iraqi parents one week after they came to America, Ingrid Robinson was the first generation of her family of five children to be an American citizen, and grew up in Great Neck, New York.
Ingrid began a long career in the Garment Industry in New York, where she eventually became the highest paid female salesperson in the Industry. After she moved to San Francisco, California and divorced her second ex-husband, Ingrid purchased a home in Marin County where she raised her daughter, Michelle, as a single Mom, and worked as a Buyer and Consultant to approximately 1,000 stores, traveling almost every week to Los Angeles, New York and other states in the U.S. She gained a highly respected reputation in the Fashion Industry nationwide as a successful Entrepreneur and Fashion Consultant with an excellent eye for fashion trends. She appeared regularly in “California Apparel News” and “Women’s Wear Daily”.
Ingrid began and completed her Internships as a Family Court Mediator in Alameda County, was a Marriage /Family Intern Therapist for Jewish Family Services, San Rafael, and School Counselor for Wade Thomas School, San Anselmo and Brookside Middle School, San Anselmo, and as a Family Counselor at Novato Youth Center, Novato, CA. As a result of her orientation program for parents who were separating or divorcing in Alameda, Ingrid received phenomenal results and praise. Parents went through mediation faster, easier and with substantially less acrimony by no longer putting their children in the middle of their battles. As a result, Alameda County changed their entire orientation program to follow the model that Ingrid had created. While Ingrid continued to work and returned to college to earn her degrees, Ingrid and Michelle traveled frequently together on ski trips and to Europe.
Death of her Daughter, Michelle
It was during her Internship as a Family Court Mediator when her only daughter, Michelle, suddenly died of a drug overdose at 28-years-old. Having lost the ability to read and write because of the trauma, Ingrid left her career as a Family Therapist to hopefully create a new life without any further trauma, stress or chaos.
After two years of mourning, recovery, gutting and redecorating her home, Ingrid longed to find a way to show that her daughter mattered, that she existed in this world. Ingrid discovered a quaint town north of San Francisco, Clearlake, California, where she purchased a lakeside property to build a mixed-use resort with townhouses and boutique shops in dedication to Michelle’s memory, called “Michelle’s Diamond”.
Excited with a new purpose in life, Ingrid sought additional financing to complete her project. Through brokers, Ingrid was put in touch with Remington Financial Group to invest in her Project. However, that’s when Life took a turn for both Ingrid and Remington. Remington Financial Group requested Ingrid to provide $10,000 for “due diligence fees” to complete paperwork, they claimed. Ingrid made several months of phone calls attempting refund from Remington, but she never saw her money again. Seeing red flags and smelling a rat, Ingrid became their worst nightmare, a “Mother on a Mission.”
Ingrid became immersed in Fraud Investigation online research as she discovered thousands of victims who had been scammed by Remington. She organized the Stop Remington Financial Group coalition with other victims, and reported her findings of over two thousand victims who lost over $25 million to the FBI, Securities Commission of PA. She coordinated efforts between federal agencies, and eventually succeeded in bringing Remington to justice, reportedly the largest advanced fee fraud against average business citizens in U.S. history. Andrew Bogdanoff, Founder and President of Remington Financial Group, was sentenced to 18-years in prison. Other agents involved with Remington have plead guilty, and Co-Founder, Matthew McManus’ testimonial hearing will occur after August 25, 2014.
Ingrid continues to work with Congress in hopes of creating new legislation for investment brokers to protect private business owners.
Ms Robinson holds a Masters Degree in Psychology, Cal State University Hayward, and a Bachelor of Science, Dominican University, San Rafael, California, and recently attended Empire Law School, Santa Rosa, CA (2012 – 2013).
Ingrid is a member of Toastmasters International. She continues to reside north of San Francisco, California with her two dogs, Clint and Ace.