AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

This ad played for Rush Limbaugh listeners. Was it a Ponzi pitch?


Credit Nation was selling investments in death. As with death itself, the company’s radio ads described profits as a sure thing.

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission has taken exception to those ads, which ran in some markets during Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. The SEC sued Credit Nation and its CEO, Jim Torchia, alleging a massive, multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that roped in elderly and naïve investors.

Here’s what Limbaugh's listeners and loyal "ditto heads" heard:

While the ad says investments are backed up "dollar for dollar with hard assets," the SEC says Credit Nation actually owes its investors millions more dollars than it has in auto loans, life settlements and cash. Yet the company has kept up with payments using funds from new investors, the government alleges. Torchia counters that the SEC doesn’t understand his business like he does and is drastically underestimating Credit Nation's value.

Incidentally, the man speaking in this ad, Bob Guess, is now being sued by Credit Nation. He's one of many former employees, friends and business associates who have wound up in litigation with Torchia.

You can read the AJC’s in-depth investigative piece about Torchia, how he operates, and the SEC's case against him, here.


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About the Author

Johnny Edwards is a member of the AJC’s investigative team, focusing on the private sector and state and federal regulation. He has worked at the newspaper since 2010.