POLL: INVESTORS PREPARING FOR LONG RECESSION

More than three quarters of those participating in a financial poll expect the current recession to last for at least one more year, while 40 percent of those surveyed have been saving more as a result of the economy.

Econ4U, a project of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy, polled 1,000 people on how they are responding to the current financial crisis. Some 64 percent of those taking part in the study indicated that they knew someone who has lost their job over the past six months, while the same percentage admitted to having six months or less of savings in case they lose their job, while 39 percent have two months or less. Nearly 20 percent have had trouble accessing credit over the past six months.

TPAS GAINING MARKET SHARE

More than 40 percent of plan sponsors consider a third-party administrator as their primary defined-contribution service provider, according to a report from Retirement Research Inc., a retirement services consultancy and products provider.

The RRI report, Working with Today's Retirement Plan TPAs - Opportunities and Challenges, revealed that about one half of all new business written by product providers in 2008 used a service model that includes TPAs. It also found that product providers are focusing more attention on partnering using a local TPA to deliver compliance and administrative services and on TPAs as a distribution channel.

"This report provides a look at where product and service offerings are today and where we believe they are going," says RRI managing principal, Ronald Bush. "We are excited to offer information of this caliber that discusses trends in the context of understanding the services TPAs provide, the business models in which they operate and their relationship to plan sponsors, national product providers and the investment advisors with whom they work."

EX-CPA ARRESTED ON $67M PONZI SCHEME CHARGES

Scottsdale, Ariz. - Former CPA Dan Wise has been arrested and charged with operating a $67 million investment fraud.

Police in Scottsdale, Ariz., charged Wise, 52, with fraud and theft in mid-April. Search warrants were issued for his home, offices, and a storage building. Earlier in the month, the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked his license to practice before the commission and accused him of defrauding 125 investors, including friends, family and accounting clients, out of the money.

The Arizona Board of Accountancy had revoked Wise's CPA license last December, accusing him of violating ethics rules and misappropriating his client's tax payments that were supposed to go to the Internal Revenue Service.

Wise allegedly claimed that he was investing their funds in short-term real estate-backed loans and promised returns of between 12 and 22 percent. He told investors that they could withdraw their money within 24 to 48 hours' notice and that the funds were fully secure. Instead, according to the complaint, Wise allegedly never funded the loans, nor paid the returns or redemption requests.

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