(CN) – A federal judge in Miami issued an order Tuesday halting an alleged Ponzi scheme that cost Haitian-American investors $23 million through promises of 100 percent returns on stocks in big American companies such as Google and Best Buy.
The Securities and Exchange Commission claimed that George L. Theodule, 48, promised investors 100 percent returns with no risk on investments in big companies like Google and Best Buy. He also allegedly promised to use a part of his trading profits to fund start up businesses and projects in Haiti and Sierra Leone.
Theodule’s alleged Ponzi scheme has reportedly been ongoing since at least November 2007. Potential investors heard about Theodule’s companies Creative Capital Consortium and Creative Capital Concepts primarily by word of mouth. Through his companies, Theodule has allegedly raised at least $23 million, the majority of which he reportedly lost trading stocks and options over the last year.
New investors’ money was allegedly turned over to repay old investors. Much of the remainder went toward Theodule’s personal expenses, such as luxury vehicles, credit card bills, a wedding payment and a down payment on a home.
To add to investors’ sense of security, Theodule allegedly directed prospective investors to self regulatory agencies known as “investment clubs.” These clubs which were supposed to offer protection to investors in reality acted as vehicles for funneling funds into Theodule’s companies.
The SEC alleges that Theodule and his companies violated federal securities laws and has obtained an order freezing Theodule’s assets and accounts.