Federal Regulators Halt South Florida Investment Scheme
On February 26th, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced investment fraud charges and an asset freeze against two Florida men and one Florida company. The defendants include:
- Jonathon Turner (aka Jon Barri Brothers) of South Florida;
- Norman Strell of South Florida; and
- Castleberry Financial Services Group, LLC, a Wellington, FL-based investment company.
The SEC alleges that Mr. Turner and Mr. Strell defrauded investors out of more than $3.6 million over the past twelve months. Thus far, the SEC has determined that at least 15 investors were victimized by this securities fraud scheme. In this article, our experienced Miami, FL securities fraud lawyers provide an overview of the charges against Castleberry Financial Services.
Investment Fraud Allegations: Fraudulent Castleberry Securities Offerings
According to the SEC complaint — which was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida — T. Jonathon Turner and Norman Strell made a series of material misrepresentations to investors. In addition, federal regulators contend that the two men improperly sought to divert investor funds for their own personal use. Among other things, the SEC alleges that Mr. Turner and Mr. Strell made the following fraudulent representations to investors:
- They claimed that they had more than $100 million under management;
- They claimed that their company was invested in hundreds of separate real estate properties, which generated millions of dollars in income each year; and
- They claimed that all of the investors’ money would go directly into business purchases and/or real estate purchases.
In reality, the SEC believes that Castleberry Financial Services never had significant money invested in real estate properties at all. Nor did this investment entity derive any significant revenue from legitimate investments. Instead, the SEC alleged that it was a wholly fraudulent enterprise.
A False Identity Was Used to Raise Funds
In addition to blatant misrepresentation listed above, the SEC also alleges that the men concealed material information about the true identity and background of T. Jonathon Turner. Investors were told that Mr. Turner has deep financial industry experience, possessed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, and that he had a law degree. In reality, Mr. Turner was incarcerated for a variety of fraud and theft crimes from 1998 to 2016. He held no such degrees; and he did not have a successful record in the financial industry. He previously went by the name Jon Barri Brothers. Investigators believe that he changed his name so that he could more easily conceal his criminal history — and lack of qualifications — from investors.
Speak to Our Miami Securities Fraud Attorneys Now
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our FINRA securities fraud lawyers are strong, aggressive advocates for investors in South Florida. If you or your loved one was victimized by a fraudulent alternative investment scheme, we are available to help. To arrange a strictly confidential review of your legal claim, please call our office today at (305) 372-9700. We are based in Miami and we represent investors throughout Florida.