|September 17, 2010
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
TALLAHASSEE, FL—Attorney General Bill McCollum, along with J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and Henry Gutierrez, United States Postal Inspector in Charge for the Miami Division, today announced the arrests of three individuals for their involvement in an investment scheme targeting the Haitian community. The group is charged with defrauding investors from the South Florida Haitian community and using their money to purchase real estate, vehicles and other valuable items as part of the conspiracy. The arrests are the result of an investigation by the above listed agencies, along with assistance from the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, and the East Baton Rouge (LA) Parrish Sheriff’s Office. The defendants are charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and grand theft. The Miami-Dade Police Department assisted with the arrests.
Investigators allege the scheme recruited potential investors through media advertisements broadcast on Creole-language television and radio programs, which promoted investment opportunities in a corporation known as Gen-X Comp. Inc. The advertisements falsely promised lucrative interest payments which were competitive, if not better, than other investment instruments. However, the investments were simply used to pay the “interest payments” to other unsuspecting investors.
The chairman of Gen-X, along with others who were listed as officers of the corporation, all profited directly from the investments which were made by the victim investors. From approximately 2003 to 2006, the only income the company generated came from monies deposited from unsuspecting victims. Investigators allege victims would invest anywhere between five and $20,000 dollars at a time. In late 2005, the scheme began to run out of funds, and victims were encouraged to be patient with the interest checks which were being returned for insufficient funds. In some cases, the individuals from Gen-X encouraged victim investors to invest in a parallel scheme which promoted the building of homes in Haiti. Authorities estimate that the individuals received almost $3 million in investments from almost 200 investors.
The defendants arrested include Alix A. Charles, 55, of Orlando; Albertha Frederic, 35, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Irma Jeudy, 62, of Miami. If convicted of all counts each defendant could be sentenced to a maximum of 90 years in prison.
Attorney General Bill McCollum’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will be prosecuting the case. Additional arrests are pending as the investigation continues.