Where's the $2.3 Million?
WEST PALM BEACH (CN) - Five men used a string of companies to dupe an elderly Florida woman of $2.3 million in sham real estate investments, the woman claims in court.
Nancy Telese sued Mark Gonsalves, William Cannon, Richard Yates, Joseph Giordano and Lawrence Doherty, and a long list of entities they allegedly used to defraud her: Law, Redd, Crona and Munroe, P.A.; Pine Dove Estates LP, Statesmen Construction Inc., Fieldstone Value Partners Fund I LP, Fieldstone Value Partners LLC, Scarsdale Energy Partners LLC, and Scarsdale Drilling Partners II LP.
She accuses them of fraud, civil theft, conversion, and securities fraud.
It began in 2005 when she went to a seminar to learn how to invest in real estate, Telese says in the complaint in Palm Beach County Court.
"The main attraction at the seminar was one Mark Gonsalves. Gonsalves immediately inspired trust in his audience. He had purportedly attended Virginia Military Institute, served in the Army Special Forces and attained the rank of captain, trained as a motivational speaker alongside Tony Robbins and became a successful real estate investor. In short, Gonsalves was the sort of man you could trust," the complaint states.
Telese claims that after the seminar, Gonsalves offered her "a great investment opportunity" in a Tallahassee real estate project, for which she gave Gonsalves $100,000.
She claims Gonsalves continued bringing her real estate investment deals until she had forked over almost $2.5 million.
Eventually, "In 2009, after investing nearly $2.5 million with defendants and their various corporate investment vehicles, Telese began requesting defendants pay her profits and contributions to which she was entitled. Although defendant had paid Telese a relatively small sum in distributions, those payments had stopped, with defendants still owing Telese in excess of $2.3 million," according to the complaint.
Telese claims that Gonsalves refuses to return her money, claiming it's "tied up in various investments."
She wants her $2.3 million back, with interest, an accounting, and costs.
She is represented by Jonathan Pollard of Fort Lauderdale.