In Florida, Eight More Charged in NFL Securities Scheme
In what is becoming a new focus for U.S. Attorneys, eight additional individuals were recently indicted in relation to a securities fraud scheme allegedly operating here in South Florida.
The eight individuals were part of a scheme to target elderly persons and convince them to purchase stock in two companies, one of which is the Miami Beach-based Thought Development Inc. (TDI), with supposed tied to the National Football League and various major college teams. The other stock they tried to pass off was Virgin Gaming (a Virgin Media subsidiary).
In the Virgin Gaming case, according to the feds, the fraudsters allegedly convinced investors that the company would be going public soon, but they could buy stock in the company now. In the case of TDI, the principals convinced prospective investors that the company was marketing high-tech products such as those used to make the on-field first down marker visible to players, fans, and TV watchers. They also claimed that the company had a contract in place with the NFL, and the product would be used during professional games. This turned out to be a lie. And to make matters worse, they neglected to inform investors the product had a serious risk of blinding players on the field.
Instead of buying actual or legitimate shares in these companies, investors were simply throwing their money away. In this case, the defendants were able to convince more than 200 investors to purchase “stock” totaling up to $2.4 million. The defendants kept more than 50% of the money and used the rest to pay their sales agents. Because more than 75% of the investors were over the age of 55, the prosecution is treating this as a scheme specifically targeting a vulnerable population, the elderly.
What is Securities Fraud?
Securities fraud is a far-reaching term for a specific type of financial fraud. It is also known as stock fraud or investment fraud. Broadly speaking, the term includes any deception of investors or manipulation of the financial markets. Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, late day trading, embezzlement, advance fee schemes, and currency fraud are some of the variations.
How do you know you might be caught in a securities fraud scheme? It depends on which side of the scheme you happen to be on. The common warning, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” certainly applies. Another red flag is if the “opportunity” just arises out of the blue. Never believe everything that is being told to you with regards to any securities sale or trade. Do your own homework and investigation. Not only will this limit the risk of being defrauded, but you also lower your risk of participating in such a scheme as well. As securities fraud cases continues to rise, state and federal prosecutors have dedicated huge teams to track down and prosecute such illegal activity. They are especially keen on prosecuting those individuals who target vulnerable populations, such as the elderly. If you suspect you may be involved in such a scheme, contact an experienced white-collar criminal defense lawyer immediately.
If you think you need a lawyer, YOU DO. Call Now!
Are you looking for a skilled attorney who can help defend you against financial fraud charges? Please contact Attorney Tony Moss at the Tony Moss Firm, L.L.C. to discuss these, or any other defense matters. He has locations in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and is prepared to put his 27 years of experience to work for you.