MANHATTAN (CN) - Investors claim that a family of "habitual fraudsters" duped them of $2.3 million in a Ponzi scheme. Two brothers, their parents and one brother's wife, along with Rahfco Funds and Gibraltar Partners, are among the more than two dozen defendants in the federal complaint.
The plaintiffs say the defendants guaranteed annual returns of 36 percent in "extremely low risk" investments. But the promises - guess what? - were a "fiction," according to the 39-page complaint.
"(I)n classic Ponzi scheme fashion, investors' money was paid by incoming funds from new investors, not profits from trading," the complaint states.
Lead plaintiff Steven Krasner describes the alleged leaders of the scheme as
habitual fraudsters, and some of them as securities recidivists: "[Defendants] Anthony Johnson, Randal K. Hansen, Christine Johnson, Robert Johnson and the other defendants are habitual fraudsters," the complaint states. "This is not the first time that defendants Anthony Johnson, Randal K. Hansen or Ward Onsa have been involved in similar types of securities fraud litigation."
Krasner claims that from April 2002 to February 2003, "Anthony Johnson engaged in a fraudulent scheme to profit from the sale of over $3.5 million in securities through manipulation, high pressure sales practices, baseless price projections, unauthorized trades and misrepresentations and omissions of material facts."
Krasner claims Johnson was convicted of this. And he says the Commodity Futures Trading Commission accused defendant Ward Onsa of a separate, $2.2 million fraud in April this year, in Philadelphia.
According to the complaint:
Anthony Johnson, "one of the masterminds and ringleaders," is from Putnam Valley, N.Y.;
Robert Johnson, of the same address, is Anthony's brother;
Christine Johnson is Robert's wife;
Robert Johnson Sr. and Annette Johnson, of Cortlandt Manor, are the parents of Robert and Anthony, and allegedly "were active in soliciting and defrauding potential and existing investors";
Randal K. Hansen, of Sioux Falls, S.D., is the founder, principal and president of Rahfco Funds;
Ward Onsa's business operates out of East 51st Street in Manhattan.
Here are the defendants: Rahfco Funds LP, Rahfco Select, Rahfco Management Group, Rahfco Investment Funds LP, Gibraltar Partners dba Gibraltar Partners Inc., Gibraltar Funds dba Gibraltar Funds Inc., Anthony Johnson, Robert Johnson, Christine Johnson, individually and dba Arc Ventures, Allison Johnson, Robert Johnson Sr., Annette Johnson, Randal K. Hansen aka Randy K. Hansen, Glenn Griffin, Vincent Puma, Kevin Nugent, Ward Onsa, Hudson Partners NYC, Spicer Jeffries LLP, SFG Accounting PLLC, Man Financial Inc., Permapave USA Corp., Verigreen, Steller Corporation Services, Capstone Investment Funds LLP, Meidinger & Associates CPA'S Prof LLC, Susan Meidinger, CPA, Entrust Group dba Entrust Retirement Services and 10 John Does.
Plaintiffs Steven Krasner, Alison Krasner, Michele Tellone and Tamie Tellone seek more than $100 million in damages. They are represented by Michael B. Schulman, of Melville, N.Y.
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