(CN) – Investors say a Miami man duped them of more than $394,000 by enticing them to back “Pure Golf,” a supposed start-up cable competitor to the Golf Channel, but using their money as a “personal slush fund, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on clothing, nightclubs, cosmetic dentistry, lavish dinners” and other stuff, including “tanning” and a “luxury residence at the Ritz Carlton.”
Eight investors and the Bosworth Sports Group sued Robert Bondonno and Pure Golf Entertainment in Clark County Court, Las Vegas.
To carry out the scheme, the plaintiffs say, Bondonno went so far as to “employ” all of them. All say they have expertise in golf and media, and say that Bondonno had them sign agreements to serve as the executive management team to run Pure Golf upon its launch.
The plaintiffs say co-defendant Cygni Capital Partners, a California investment bank, made a series of false and fraudulent statements to support Bondonno, and helped itself to $100,000 of their money as a “retainer fee.”
Central to these false statements was an assertion that Cygni Capital had secured commitments from several “high net worth individuals” who wanted to back the channel, according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs say they discovered it was a scam in June, when Bondonno gave one of them, Reid Gorman, access to Pure Golf’s corporate accounts to help manage payments to vendors.
Gorman says he alerted the other investors, and when confronted with his wrongdoing, Bondonno responded by firing his supposed management team via email.
The plaintiffs demand return of their investments, money owed under their employment and consulting agreements, punitive damages, and treble damages for conversion, negligent misrepresentation, breach of consulting agreements, and violations of Nevada’s civil RICO law.
They also want to foreclose on collateral in a $100,000 bridge loan and stock purchase agreement to pay Cygni Capital’s fee.
The plaintiffs are represented by Ariel Stern and Diana Erb with Akerman Senterfitt in Las Vegas.