Monday, October 19, 2009

White Collar Crime and Securities: 3 Indicted in Securities Scheme

A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida indicted three men for operating a Ponzi scheme targeting Haitian Americans. The indictment charges that the three defrauded the scheme's victims of $14.3 million. Most of the proceeds of the fraud went to those charged with a minimal amount actually being invested.

The government alleges that Brian Taglieri, Ronnie Bass, and Abner Alabre operated an entity called Homepals Investments from April 2008 to March 2009. The investment scam allegedly promised investors that they would double their investments in 20 days. In reality, according to the government, only approximately $1.2 million of the more than $14 million taken was actually invested. The remaining $13 plus million allegedly went to pay early investors to keep the scheme operational and to the personal use of the defendants. When federal authorities closed the business, only $7300 remained in its accounts. The indictment charges conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Along with the federal indictment, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a corresponding civil enforcement action based on the alleged fraud.

For more information, please see the following article from South Florida, "Three Men Accused of Fraud," October 19, 2009,,0,7086730,print.story

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