It is troubling how some people truly seem to feel that the same things won’t happen to them which have proven true in the past. The latest example of this tragedy is Norman Adie. Adie is a 53 year old theatre owner who is alleged to have been bilking investors in a Ponzi style scheme. Echoes of Bernard Madoff fill the air, though on a far smaller scale. Try telling that to the folks who invested their capital in his nonexistent projects and are now paying for it in real time with their lost monies.
According to reports from Brooklyn Paper (1) “prosecutors say that Adie…had been conning people into investing in his phantom development plans for the Henry Street movie house since 2007.”
A Ponzi scheme is a false investment scheme where investors are paid back small amounts of their initial invested capital to get them to invest more or at the very least not pull out entirely. This capital may be from their initial investment or more likely from subsequent investors. When people call for their capital to be returned it’s revealed that the project they’d invested in were never real.
Adie is alleged to have made promises to refurbish his flagging theatre in Park Slope and also pointed to two other theatres he’d owned in Pennsylvania as being investment projects his investors could have confidence in. Court papers show that one of the Pennsylvania theatres he’d abandoned in 2009 when he could no longer make mortgage payments. Other promises he’s reported having made were never even begun let alone seen through to completion. City records say it’s been almost 10 years since any work has been done on the space.
Now honest investors sit defeated at being the latest victims of someone else’s greed.