Equity Build Collapse

8 Replies

I just saw Equity Build was shut down, ruled a Ponzi scheme, and ripped off investors to the tune of $135MM. Anyone get caught up in it? If so, what is your story??? 

Ripoff Report verified them! Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to EquityBuild and EquityBuild Finance for its commitment to excellence in customer service.

https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/equity-build-inc/marco-island-florida-34185/equity-build-inc-jerry-cohen-if-you-are-thinking-of-doing-business-with-equity-build-you-813317

Originally posted by @Christopher Winkler :

I just saw Equity Build was shut down, ruled a Ponzi scheme, and ripped off investors to the tune of $135MM. Anyone get caught up in it? If so, what is your story??? 

Ripoff Report verified them! Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to EquityBuild and EquityBuild Finance for its commitment to excellence in customer service.

https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/equity-build-inc/marco-island-florida-34185/equity-build-inc-jerry-cohen-if-you-are-thinking-of-doing-business-with-equity-build-you-813317

YUP.. there are a lot of folks caught up in this and there have been a few threads..  

Well we all kind of knew this was eventually going to happen, it was just a matter of which company it was.  I wonder if it was open fraud or if their projects just didn't perform and they we're trying to rescue their deals by pouring more money into them.  It would be interesting to know how much they took out in fees as well.

Yep. I got killed. Last year, I was looking at 60k in income, I was semi retired, and still working part time,  just watching our investment grow. Now, I’m trying to figure out how to keep my home, and keep food on the table. Hadn’t intended to leave the money there, they were supposed to be short term. We have five rentals, but minimal cash flow from them. When the notes got paid, we had planned to keep purchasing rentals, and have the additional income from the new rentals, start paying down the old, and “snowball” the payments, maybe even purchasing some newer rentals on15yr mortgage. 

Hi All,

I tried posting here 19+ times and my posts continuously got deleted. My father committed suicide 6 years ago and his suicide notes reference Equity Build and the associated Ponzi scheme. I tried attaching the suicide note but Bigger Pockets would not let me. I am so sorry to any investor who got caught up in this. I have been trying to take action for 6 years now. On another thread, you can see this post I wrote 2 years ago:

DO NOT INVEST WITH EQUITYBUILD!!!!! My father was their attorney for several years, and ultimately took his life over their illegal and unethical business practices. I have attached his suicide note here which details the Ponzi scheme: "Shaun is using investor money to buy and rehab properties owned by his father Jerry. Crazy mortgages are put on the property and EquityBuild abandons them." In another note, he said that Jerry Cohen and his nephew Scott Cohen were convicted of a major rental fraud scheme in Philadelphia in 1999.

If you look at the Cook County Recorder of Deeds website, EquityBuild is the Grantor/Grantee on 190/160 properties respectively in the Chicagoland area. They are the defendant in numerous housing court cases in Chicago as well. Finally, the reason they are getting away with it is because they are pulling from their investors' 401K instead of bank transfers and wire transfers. Because of this, the federal government can't pursue it. Your money is not safe with EquityBuild OR Hard Money Company.

Hello Lindsay:

We "WISH" we would have seen your posts 3 years ago!!! We started investing with Equity Build in 2016 and continued through early 2018 for a total of $180,000.00 invested. We filed a claim prior to July 1st, 2019 but fear that we will recover very little of the investment money due to: legal fees, court battles, cost for maintaining the properties prior to sale, and the fact that the total value of the properties is estimated at 60% of the total amount people invested in the ponzi scheme. I can't believe that SEC and FBI were aware of the scheme since 2012 and did nothing!!! Moreover, I cannot believe the Cohens aren't serving LONG time in jail!!!

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