Ponzi Men Took|$15 Million, SEC Says

BOSTON (CN) – Scammers operating as DFRF Enterprises targeted Spanish- and Portuguese-speakers in a $15 million Ponzi scam based on nonexistent gold mines, the SEC claims in court.
     The SEC sued DFRF and seven men on June 30 in Federal Court. It claims Daniel Fernandes Roho Filho led the Ponzi scam which sold “membership” in DFRF, particularly in Florida and Massachusetts, but also elsewhere around the world.
     Filho, 47, is a native of Brazil who lived in Winter Garden, Fla. In August 2013 he consented to a $25 million civil forfeiture in Florida involving drug trafficking, money laundering and a Ponzi scheme, the SEC says. Also that year he set up DFRF and began duping people in a “purported gold mining business.”
     Filho and his cohorts promised “remarkable” returns, which were “fully guaranteed by insurance, the SEC says, plus “pledges to help the needy” from DFRF’s 50 gold mines in Brazil and Africa that produce 13 to 16 tons of gold a month. They claimed DFRF stock is registered with the SEC and will sell at $15.06 a share when trading opens, though it’s worth $64 a share.
     But virtually everything he said is false, the SEC says. “There are no gold mines. There is no credit line. There is no charity work. There is no stock registration. There is no insurance. Nevertheless, from June 2014 through May 2015, DFRF raised more than $15 million from more than 1,400 investors worldwide.”
     Filho himself took $6 million of it, spending $2.5 million on “a fleet of luxury automobiles,” the SEC says.
     Here are the other defendants, all of them involved in DFRF, all of them accused of making false and misleading statements:
     Wanderley M. Dalman, 49, of Revere, Mass.;
     Gaspar C. Jesus, of Malden, Mass.;
     Eduardo N. da Silva, 40, of Orlando, Fla.;
     Heriberto C. Perez Valdes, 46, of Miami;
     Jeffrey A. Feldman, 56, of Boca Raton, Fla. He was convicted of forgery in 1998, through which he made $2.5 million; Florida revoked his insurance license in 1996 after he pleaded no contest to submitting false insurance claims for Hurricane Andrew, and he filed for bankruptcy in 1997;
     and Romildo Da Cunha, 48, or Brazil.
     The SEC seeks freezing of assets, disgorgement, a restraining order and injunction and penalties for securities violations.

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