Lloyds Commodities principals ordered to pay fines and restitution.

When we reopened Dobin Law Group in 2010 (then known as Marc S. Dobin, P.A.), we moved into an office suite setup in Jupiter. There were prior tenants in the space. One of the prior tenants was Lloyds Commodities. These were not luxurious quarters.

After we moved in, we inherited the Lloyds phone number. We would occasionally get a phone call asking how to send in account documentation. The people who called did not really seem to have much of a clue. And it didn’t make sense that they would be buying physical commodities. But it wasn’t my job to warn them. One thing always troubled me, though. I never like it when a business chooses a name that seems to have nothing to do with their business but everything to do with trying to earn credibility by being confused with another established business.

There was a Ponzi scheme in West Palm Beach, Pheonix Investments. It was accused of trading on the confusion between its name and Phoenix Mutual Funds. Eventually the Ponzi scheme unraveled and the mutual fund company sued Pheonix for unfair competition or something like that.

In this case, why Lloyds? How about subliminally convincing people that the business is associated with Lloyd’s of London? People don’t ask. And if they do, I have no idea what answer was given. But it doesn’t matter.

The Palm Beach Post reports that Lloyds and its owners (neither of whom were named Lloyd) were ordered to pay about $5 million in penalties and restitution. I doubt any of that money will ever be seen, but who knows.

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