Many Florida residents were conned by a handsome young model and actor who has recently been accused of running several investment frauds. He promised investment returns of up to 50 percent a year in a typical Ponzi pyramid scheme.
According to federal authorities, the fraud began when this man was only 21 years old and fresh out of Florida Atlantic University. The actor set up his investment "shop" in Boca-Raton in March of 2008.
However, instead of investing the money that he was entrusted with, he established a residence in Rome and traveled all over the world. He was also known to gamble in Las Vegas, where he built up a debt of over $500,000.
His investment scheme came crashing down this summer when he was arrested in South Africa and brought back to Las Vegas to face charges of passing bad checks. Currently he is being held in South Florida on wire fraud charges.
Ponzi schemers tend to have certain similar traits. They are usually charismatic and appear to be very successful. Ponzi scheme promoters will also appear to live in luxury, with the cars and homes to validate this image. However, this is often simply a false front by an experienced actor.
In this case, it appears that prosecutors may be working to reach a plea deal. Regardless of the criminal outcome, however, those affected by fraud are still entitled to pursue a civil lawsuit to recover their financial losses. It can be challenging to recover lost investments, especially from large, well-established Ponzi schemes, but with the help of a skilled attorney it may be possible to reclaim some or all of the lost investment.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Actor accused of playing investment whiz in alleged $10 million Ponzi," Jon Burstein, Nov. 3, 2012