Real Estate Talk Show Host Charged With Real Estate Fraud in Boca Raton

A talk show host who ran a program about South Florida real estate has been charged with federal crimes for allegedly creating a Ponzi scheme with investors, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

As the economy continues to sour, investors of all kinds point to the person they gave their money to when an investment doesn’t work out. Miami White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyers have seen time and time again the federal investigators come knocking when an investment opportunity doesn’t work out as planned and people lose money. It’s certainly possible that Miami Ponzi schemes and elsewhere do happen, but it’s also possible that the downturn in the country’s economy is to blame for people losing money.

Miami Criminal Attorney Blog previously reported on a Ponzi Scheme operated out of Fort Lauderdale, where investors lost $1.2 billion. In that case, one attorney was already convicted and authorities made new arrests of people recently.

Ponzi scheme discoveries have become common, but proving these cases is difficult. Prosecutors must show that those managing the investment defrauded investors, not just that the investment didn’t work out and people lost money. With big-name Ponzi scheme artists like Bernie Madoff in the news the last few years, investors have become skeptical when an investment doesn’t work out. It’s possible that there was no fraud involved at all, but that outside factors took it down.

In the newest case, federal prosecutors allege the talk show host recruited investors for commercial real estate projects, some of which went into foreclosure. According to the government, the talk show host recruited investors on his local television and radio program and used investors’ money to make payments to other investors and pay personal and business expenses.

He allegedly swindled investors from 2003 to 2006 and told investors he would be buying real estate in South Florida and that they would receive quarterly interest payments of about 8 percent, the newspaper reported. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

These types of economic crimes require a lot of work by federal agents and prosecutors to secure a conviction. They typically have to pore through complex financial records and business statements as well as documents sent to investors. It can take years for charges to be levied against a defendant, but the person typically knows when an investigation has begun.

It is crucial that if you are accused of financial crimes that you consult with an experienced attorney as soon as you suspect authorities are looking at your business or investment firm. Reviewing these documents and preparing a defense must start as soon as possible. Preparing a defense in advance of an indictment can sometimes prevent authorities from seeking charges. But if not, it allows the defense to be ready to mount an aggressive defense.