The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against New York investment adviser for allegedly operating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
In the complaint, the SEC alleged that the defendant, Ruless Pierre ran an investment club called Amongst Friends Investment Group that targeted his friends, family and members of the local Haitian community.
Allegations against the investment adviser
The Commission alleged that the investment club is an illegal Ponzi scheme. Pierre convinced investors, mostly Haitian New Yorkers, to purchase high-yield promissory notes through the investment club and promised them unrealistic rates of return—at least 20 percent every 60 days.
Amongst Friends raised more than $2 million from approximately 100 investors since March 2017. The investment club suffered heavy losses trading securities. Instead of disclosing the situation to existing investors, Pierre used funds from new investors to pay older investors. He also issued false account statement showing investment gains. In addition, the defendant further financed the fraud by using money he embezzled from a former employer to pay interest to investors, according to the SEC in its complaint.