A self-proclaimed "life coach" and self-help author has been charged with fraud again -- this time for running a private placement Ponzi scheme to pay his previous victims.
Eric Aronson made a name for himself as the founder of the "DASH" method of self-empowerment.
Unfortunately, part of his personal mythology -- that he changed his life after spending three years in federal prison for securities fraud -- seems to have been hard to shake, the SEC says.
Aronson is now facing charges that he's been running a $26 million Ponzi scheme over the last five years.
The scheme itself looks fairly straightforward. Aronson got 140 people to invest in various shell companies that allegedly did things like install paved driveways in Australia.
The returns were supposedly big -- up to 33% a year -- but the money really went back to fund his lifestyle and pay the victims of his previous scheme, the one that sent him to jail in the first place.
Aronson's case is unusual because his self-improvement method seems to have been rooted in Ponzi principles itself. Life coaches are furious with him because they paid $500 to $900 apiece to get a ground floor license to teach his system and then the referrals would start rolling in.
In theory, the system would have gone huge. In reality, nothing ever came of it, except about $40,000 moving away from those coaches into Aronson's pockets.