Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida

Miami police officer accused of Ponzi scheme

It appears that even law enforcement is not above the easy money a Ponzi scheme can appear to offer. Recently, the FBI arrested a veteran Miami police officer as he was about board a plane to Costa Rica. The officer was allegedly running a Ponzi scheme during his off hours and has been charged with wire fraud.

The fraud claims against the accused involve an investment scheme. The defendant offered 20 percent returns to investors, which he claimed offered high-interest loans to real estate owners in Costa Rica. The Department of Justice says that, in classic Ponzi scheme style, the defendant was using phony paperwork, and new investments were simply used to pay returns to earlier investors and to enrich himself.

The case is currently a criminal matter, but in all likelihood, a civil action will be commenced in an attempt to claw back any funds that the accused officer obtained through fraud. The court will appoint a receiver, which is typical a law firm or bank with considerable experience in such matters. The receiver will identify and collect available assets and, when ordered by the court, liquidate them. The receiver will then return as much as possible to the victims of the fraud.

When a receiver is appointed by the court in a Ponzi scheme -- or other fraud case -- it is often an attorney or law firm with considerable experience in handling receivership matters. A successful track record in complex business litigation ensures that a receiver understands the intricacies and nuances of even the most widespread cases. A seasoned receiver can help ensure that the financial issues involved in fraud cases are resolved -- and victims compensated -- to the greatest extent possible.

Source: Miami Herald, "Miami cop accused in Ponzi scheme allowed to leave jail - but will be confined to home," David Ovalle, Feb. 2, 2018

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