SEC Charges Promoter for Ponzi Scheme that Targeted Hispanic-Americans

April 14th, 2009
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The SEC has charged Clelia A. Flores and Maximum Return Investments Inc. (MRI) for running a $23 million Ponzi scheme. The scheme reportedly told investors that they were investing in “risk-free, high-yield investment programs involving bank trading, oil and gold exploration, or real estate.”

The El Segundo, California-based promoter primarily targeted Hispanic-Americans and attracted investors with promises of 25% returns in 30 to 45 days. The company’s classic ponzi scheme setup used money from new investors to pay earlier investors. Flores also misappropriated investor funds to pay personal expenses.

Yesterday's complaint alleges that “Flores and MRI attracted more than 150 investors in seven states between late 2006 and early 2008. Flores paid a 10 percent commission to ‘referral partners’ who solicited new investors, and she relied heavily upon testimonials by other investors in the Hispanic-American community.”
See Press Release
Related Article Tags: Hedge Fund Fraud and Ponzi Scheme News

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