The Securities and Exchange Commission has received an emergency court order to halt a suspected Ponzi scheme targeted to Haitian-American investors.
According to the order, the Creative Capital Consortium and its principal George L. Theodule have solicited more than $23 million from thousands of investors by promising a 100% return on their investment within 90 days.
The SEC said Theodule has lost at least $18 million trading stocks in the last year and has repaid early investors with money collected from new investors.
Furthermore, Theodule has misappropriated at least $3.8 million for himself and his family, the SEC alleges.
"This alleged Ponzi scheme preyed upon unsuspecting members of a close-knit community, attempting to take advantage of the trust they had in each other," said Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the SEC's division of enforcement. "As always, investors need to be wary of investment opportunities that guarantee results and tout extraordinary returns."
"This case demonstrates that individuals will often rely on a shared affinity to gain investors' trust," added David Nelson, director of the SEC's Miami regional office. "In this case, Theodule allegedly abused that trust to con thousands of investors in the Haitian-American community."