Another Athlete Falls Victim to Investment Fraud

by Wall Street Fraud on December 21, 2012

athlete investment fraud lawyerGiven their hefty paychecks, professional athletes are often prime victims for investment fraud. Carlos Boozer, of the Chicago Bulls, is one of the latest victims.

Last year, Boozer filed a civil lawsuit against Claudio Osorio, a Florida businessman, who now stands accused of perpetrating a multi-million dollar investment fraud. The NBA star contends that Osorio defrauded him out of $1 million, which was used to support the fraudster’s "high-flying lifestyle," according to court documents.

However, Boozer was not Osario’s only victim. According to recently filed federal fraud charges, he used his company, InnoVida Holdings LLC, to bilk investors out of over $8 million.

As detailed by the SEC, Osorio, who is a former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner, raised at least $16.8 million from investors by misrepresenting the success of his company, which purportedly manufactured high-tech housing materials designed to withstand fires and hurricanes. However, the money collected from investors did not go to the company. Rather, Osario used the funds to pay for his Miami Beach mansion, a Maserati, a Colorado mountain retreat home, and country club dues. In total, he misappropriated at least $8.1 million in investor funds.

“From his lap of luxury, Osorio concocted a compelling story about InnoVida by recruiting an impressive board of directors and boasting a bogus financial condition to lure investors into funding his scheme of lies," said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC's Miami Regional Office.

As this case highlights, anyone can fall victim to a slick businessman touting impressive credentials. Therefore, it is imperative to thoroughly research every investment opportunity, no matter how good the opportunity may seem and how much you can stand to lose.

If you have been the victim of investment fraud, we may be able to help you recover your losses. Contact us today at 215-839-3953 for a free consultation.

At Wall Street Fraud, we are dedicated to offering assistance to those who have been hurt by improper corporate or investment practices.

If you have been the victim of stock brokerage fraud, securities fraud, mutual fund fraud, stockbroker fraud, annuities fraud, or any other type of investment fraud or negligence, please contact our securities fraud attorneys today for a free case evaluation. Our talented and aggressive legal and professional staff is eager to help you recover your losses.

 

Philadelphia affinity fraud lawyerAffinity fraud—investment scams where the perpetrator is or pretends to be a member of the group he or she is trying to defraud— are on the rise. Just last week, we discussed a Brooklyn-based brokerage firms that is facing charges after targeting the Polish community in multi-million-dollar investment fraud.

Unscrupulous investment professionals are always looking for a way to infiltrate a large group of potential “targets.” Therefore, holiday parties sponsored by your local church, community organization, professional group or even book club could be a potential breeding ground for investment fraud.

With this in mind, we would like to share the SEC’s tips for preventing affinity fraud:

  • Even if you know the person making the investment offer, be sure to research the person’s background, as well as the investment itself – no matter how trustworthy the person who brings the investment opportunity to your attention seems to be.
  • Never make an investment based solely on the recommendation of a member of an organization or group to which you belong.
  • Don’t fall for investments that promise spectacular profits or “guaranteed” returns. Similarly, be extremely leery of any investment that is said to have no risks. Promises of quick and high profits, with little or no risk, are classic warning signs of fraud.
  • Be skeptical of any investment opportunity that you can’t get put in writing. You should also be suspicious if you are told to keep the investment opportunity confidential or a secret.
  • Don’t be pressured or rushed into buying an investment before you have a chance to research the “opportunity.” Just because someone you know made money, or claims to have made money, doesn’t mean you will, too. Be especially skeptical of investments that are pitched as “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities, particularly when the salesperson bases the recommendation on “inside” or confidential information.

If you have been the victim of affinity fraud, we may be able to help you recover your losses. Contact us today at 215-839-3953 for a free consultation.

At Wall Street Fraud, we are dedicated to offering assistance to those who have been hurt by improper corporate or investment practices.

If you have been the victim of stock brokerage fraud, securities fraud, mutual fund fraud, stockbroker fraud, annuities fraud, or any other type of investment fraud or negligence, please contact our securities fraud attorneys today for a free case evaluation. Our talented and aggressive legal and professional staff is eager to help you recover your losses.

 

SEC Charges Highlight Claims to “Beat the Market” Often Signal Fraud

December 19, 2012

pennsylvania securities fraud attorneyAs the saying goes, if an investment opportunity sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Unfortunately, clients of a Chicago-based investment adviser recently learned this lesson the hard way.

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Are Your Investments Ready for 2013? Year End Tips for Investors

December 18, 2012

philadelphia investment fraud lawyerAs 2012 draws to a close, many of us will look back on the past year and make plans for an even better 2013. In addition to settings goals for exercising more frequently or eating more vegetables, it is also important to review your financial health, which includes your investments.

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Could Medical Science Explain Why Older Investors Are More Susceptible to Scams?

December 17, 2012

Elder financial fraudMedical science may explain why the elderly are more likely to fall for an investment scam. A new study suggests that changes in the brain that occur as we age make it more difficult to detect unscrupulous individuals.

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SEC Enforcement Statistics on Investment Fraud Offer Good News for Investors

December 14, 2012

Secutities fraud attorney philadelphiaThe Securities and Exchange Commission had another record year when it comes to prosecuting investment fraud. The agency filed 734 enforcement actions in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2012, one shy of last year’s record of 735.

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Complex Products Can Lead to Complex Problems For Investors

December 13, 2012

Philadelphia securities fraud attorneyInvestors are increasingly turning to complex products to boost their retirement accounts. However, these complex investment products also come with very complex risks.

In recent remarks, Susan F. Axelrod, FINRA
Executive Vice President, Member Regulation Sales Practice discussed some of the problems FINRA examiners have been finding at brokerages selling complex products. She touched on concerns related to non-traded REITS and reverse convertibles, as well an increase in brokers defrauding investors by “selling away.”

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SEC Renews Investor Warning About Government Imposters

December 12, 2012

Investment fraud attorneyThe Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued an updated Investor Alert about fraudulent solicitations that purport to be affiliated with or sponsored by the SEC and its staff. This ongoing scam uses the guise of an official government agency to trick investors into providing their personal investment account information.

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