Nine Charged in $6 Million Broward County Telemarketing Securities Fraud Scheme
A Miami federal grand jury indicted nine individuals for operating a Broward County telemarketing scheme (“a boiler room”) that targeted investors throughout the country and ultimately defrauded them out of $6.6 million dollars.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), made the announcement.
Thomas A. Guerriero, 39, of Deerfield Beach, Diana P. Lovera (D. Lovera), 32, of Deerfield Beach, Victor Lovera (V. Lovera), 28, of Deerfield Beach, Edward R. Sachs, 56, of Boca Raton, Andrew J. Bourdeaux, 28, of Davie, Joseph Loish, 58, of Pompano Beach, Steven Goldstein, 60, of Sunrise, Steven Sharaf, 63, of Pembroke Pines, and Frank Penaloza, 29, of Pompano Beach, were charged by indictment with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. Additionally, Guerriero, D. Lovera, V. Lovera, Sachs, Bourdeaux, Loish, and Goldstein are charged with substantive counts of mail and/or wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 1343. Guerriero is also charged with witness tampering and obstruction of justice, during the course of an SEC investigation, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1005 and 1512(b)(1).
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Securities fraud jeopardizes the financial well-being of our citizens. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our enforcement partners will continue to identify for prosecution, those individuals who use deception, scare tactics and undue pressure to strip others of their hard-earned financial investments.”
“This case demonstrates our commitment to rooting out fraudsters who bilk millions of dollars from investors every year,” said George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “Criminals are always devising new methods to defraud unsuspecting investors. Accordingly, we are continuously adapting our investigative techniques in order to hold them accountable for their unscrupulous actions.”
According to allegations contained in the indictment Guerriero, D. Lovera, V. Lovera, Sachs, Bourdeaux, Loish, Goldstein, Sharaf, and Penaloza solicited investors throughout the United States to buy stock shares of Oxford City Football Club, Inc. (“Oxford City”), a Deerfield Beach, Florida corporation that claimed to manage a portfolio involving sports, education, media, and real estate businesses. The defendants sold stock directly from the company in private placement offerings.
The indictment alleges that from July 2013 through July 2015, the defendants conspired to misappropriate investor money for their personal benefit by making false statements, during the course of a telemarketing scheme, regarding the Oxford City stock. According to the indictment, the defendants used high-pressure, strong-armed tactics to intimidate and coerce individuals to invest in Oxford City. Over the course of the scheme, the defendants and their co-conspirators caused over 150 individuals to buy shares of Oxford City restricted stock for approximately $6.6 million.
Today, the SEC announced parallel civil charges against Guerriero and Oxford.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the SEC. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Cruz and Trial Attorney Kevin B. Hart from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.
An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.