Investment Scam Hits NFL, NBA Stars

Morning Business Memo…

Dozens of current and former NFL and NBA players may have been the victims of an investment scam. FINRA - the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority - filed a cease-and-desist order against Success Trade Securities, alleging the online investment firm ripped off 58 investors, most of them pro athletes. The private industry watchdog issued a complaint against the firm and its CEO Fuad Ahmed accusing it of fraud in the sales of $18 million in promissory notes to investors without telling them how he was spending it. The company and its officials claimed they were raising just $5 million even after sales significantly exceeded the original offering, FINRA said. The firm and Ahmed failed to disclose the company's existing debt and the fact that it would be unable to make future interest payments without raising money from new investors, FINRA said.

Twitter is about to launch a brand new music app. The social media site confirmed it had bought We Are Hunted, a start-up firm that tracks the most popular songs people are talking about on Twitter. According to the tech news AllThingsD, We Are Hunted said its developers would "continue to create services that will delight you, as part of the Twitter team" but declined to go into any more detail. "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest randomly tweeted about the new Twitter site yesterday, telling his followers that he's "lovin the app" and that it "shows what artists are trending, also has up and coming artists." Twitter Music re-tweeted Seacrest's comment, apparently confirming the site's existence.

Dow 15,000 is in sight after the best four-day run for the stock market since last September. If the averages don't drop today the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq will have their best week of the year. The Dow Jones Index rose nearly 63 points yesterday to 14,865. Futures are down so far this morning. Economic reports today could be market movers. Retail sales for March is the most important. JPMorgan Chase, the country's biggest bank by assets, says its first-quarter earnings soared, even as revenue fell slightly. Profits rose 34 percent compared with the year before.

Two major commodities-trading firms are hoarding huge supplies of copper. The Wall Street Journal says "this concentration of copper supplies has sparked concerns among industrial consumers of the metal." Copper prices have fallen since February, but some manufactures and builders are said to be worried about a possible shortage if demand for copper rises. Excess supplies are said to be stacking up in warehouses owned by Glencore International and Trafigura Beheer, according to global traders.

Finance ministers from the 27 countries of the European Union are pushing for progress on creating a single supervisor to watch over Europe's banks. It's a task officials say has assumed greater urgency since a banking crisis in Cyprus pushed it to seek an international bailout. The ministers, meeting today in Dublin, will also consider extending the repayment schedules on bailout loans previously given to Ireland and Portugal. That would ease the burden of repayment, reducing the squeeze on government spending and allowing the countries' economies to grow more quickly.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesabc

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