Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


September 16, 2013
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution and Office of Financial Regulation Stop South Florida Investment Schemes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that her Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Office of Financial Regulation have charged four individuals for their alleged involvement in defrauding investors in land development schemes and foreign exchange options. Between 2005 and 2010, the defendants allegedly defrauded primarily Haitian-Americans throughout South Florida out of approximately four million dollars. The defendants were charged with first degree felony counts of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, grand theft, and money laundering.

“Preying on members of your own community is one of the most heinous offenses. The OFR is committed to working cooperatively in partnership with other state and federal agencies, such as the Attorney General’s Office to identify and prosecute those who seek to violate that trust and act illegally for their own financial gain,” said OFR Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear. “The OFR is committed to protecting the citizens of Florida while providing smart, efficient and effective regulation of the financial services industry.”

“I applaud the Office of Financial Regulation for their investigative work, which resulted in the arrests for this multi-million dollar scam,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “My Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute this case and seek restitution for those who lost money due to this scheme.”

According to the investigation, the defendants led victims to invest in properties in Central and South West Florida based on promises that they would develop the land. In reality, the defendants neither owned nor had legitimate contracts to purchase the land. The defendants also made offers to double the investors’ money with foreign exchange options, which the defendants were unlicensed and unqualified to do.

The defendants involved in the scheme are:

The defendants will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.