Residents of the Empire State have long fled the cold northern clime for Florida sunshine. So it was no surprise that a New York venture capital fund manager from Buffalo was arrested at a second home in a modest, beachside community south of Orlando.
The 39-year-old man taken into custody in Lake Worth is charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and perjury. A U.S. Attorney accuses him of defrauding investors of at least $5 million in a "Ponzi-like scheme." He's accused of selling investors on the idea of buying stock in popular companies such as Twitter and Uber before their IPOs.
The defendant is the senior managing director of a venture capital firm.
According to the prosecutor, the suspect never invested any of the millions he received in Twitter or Uber. "The investments (the defendant) allegedly offered were fake but the charges he faces are real," the prosecutor said.
Prosecutors' cases often sound unimpeachable at press conferences and in newspaper articles; much less so when an experienced defense attorney tells the other side of the story.
Some of our readers will undoubtedly recall the cases of two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers who faced 20 years in prison apiece, accused of lying to investors who lost $1.6 billion in a pair of funds. The defendants were charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.
Defense lawyers made the convincing argument that the defendants were sincerely optimistic about the funds and that they had not lied to investors at all. The jury heard and the men were freed -- the justice system worked.
If you believe you are under investigation for securities fraud or wire fraud, don't delay contacting a law firm with experience in these complex matters.