January 30, 2013
SEC Charges Five with Florida Resort Ponzi Scheme
The SEC charged five former real estate executives who defrauded investors into believing they were funding the development of five-star destination resorts in Florida and Las Vegas when they were actually buying into a Ponzi scheme. According to the SEC, Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas raised more than $300 million from nearly 1,400 investors nationwide through a network of hundreds of sales agents, marketing seminars, and podcasts that touted the profitability of purchasing units at Cay Clubs resort locations. Investors were promised immediate income from a guaranteed 15 percent return and a future income stream through a rental program that Cay Clubs managed. Alas, according to the SEC, the venture was a classic Ponzi scheme.
The SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida charges the following former Cay Clubs executives:
Fred Davis Clark, Jr. – president and CEO
David W. Schwarz – chief accounting officer
Cristal R. Coleman – manager and sales agent
Barry J. Graham – sales director
Ricky Lynn Stokes – sales director
The SEC’s complaint seeks financial penalties from Clark, Coleman, and Stokes and the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest by all five executives. The complaint also seeks injunctive relief to enjoin them from future violations of the federal securities laws as well as an accounting and an order to repatriate investor assets.
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