leifertlaw June 5, 2012 Fraud
Fort Lauderdale fraud defense, particularly for high-level Ponzi schemes, require skill and experience.
A Broward defense attorney should have a proven success record for cases involving white collar crimes and offenses involving extensive paper trails and financial records.
That’s what’s going to be required for a local investment adviser and several of those working with him. Prosecutors contend that he spearheaded an effort to gain the trust of the gay community in Wilton Manors. By exploiting that trust, prosecutors say he perpetuated a multimillion dollar investment fraud.
There are about 14 residents from Broward who say they were victims of the $2.5 million scheme. Victims contend they trusted the man, who was vouched for by a well-known area resident and his daughter. The defendant is now locked up awaiting trial for federal charges of wire fraud. In the meantime, the investors have also reportedly filed a civil lawsuit. Others across the country have filed similar lawsuits, including a California family alleging a loss of $4 million. Additionally, the SEC has filed a lawsuit in civil court against him, saying he raised an estimated $11 million by lying and submitting phony financial statements.
Those representing the alleged victims say that the losses have completely wiped out life savings and that they were victimized by people they believed were their friends.
However, what’s important to note is that sometimes investments go bad. Just because a venture doesn’t work out doesn’t mean someone is criminally liable.
After it became clear to the defendant that charges may be filed, he reportedly fled to Cyprus, a Mediterranean island where he was born. That was back in January, and it was believed that he would be out of reach of federal authorities there. However, he returned to the U.S. — visiting Las Vegas in March. Authorities with the FBI were waiting for him when he landed.
With regard to the man’s dealings in the Walton Manors community, it’s alleged that his friend and his friend’s daughter introduced him to the gay community there by ingratiating him into the nightlife scene. The daughter also reportedly worked as the manager of property at the Wilton Station development. At least four of the alleged victims lived there.
It’s alleged that the father-daughter pair told false stories to the investors of the riches they were able to afford due to the investments they made with the defendant. This, say prosecutors, gave the alleged victims confidence in a man they had only just met.
However, the man and his daughter say they were victims of the defendants as well.
The civil lawsuits say that the defendant and father-daughter pair would wine and dine potential investors at a local fancy restaurant. That’s where the defendant would give his sales pitch.
Prosecutors say it wasn’t until much later that the investors realized they had been defrauded.
Of course, there are a lot of details in this case that we don’t yet know, such as what the alleged victims believed they were investing in and how that all began to unravel.
It’s a case our Fort Lauderdale fraud defense attorneys will be watching closely.
If you are facing criminal charges in Broward or Palm Beach counties, contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert, a Partnership of Former Prosecutors, for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1.888.5.DEFEND.
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