Fort Lauderdale Securities Broker Sentenced to Six Years in Prison
On December 4th, 2018, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced that Salvatore Colonna — a former Fort Lauderdale-based investment broker — has been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in a multimillion dollar securities fraud scheme.
In connection with the case, former securities broker Salvatore Colonna has also been ordered to pay approximately $3 million in financial restitution to affected investors. Here, our Miami investment fraud lawyers provide an overview of the charges against this former South Florida financial advisor.
Investors Were Lured With Promises of Big Profits in Precious Metals
According to prosecutors, the investment fraud in this case occurred between January of 2010 and October of 2013. During that time, Salvatore Colonna served as a broker for Liberty International Financial Services. He was based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Through a scheme that was planned with several co-conspirators, prosecutors contend that Mr. Colonna lured investors using fraudulent pretenses and through materially false statements. Specifically, it is alleged that this financial advisor informed Liberty International Financial Services investors:
- That the vast majority of the money that they invested would be used directly to purchase precious metals;
- That they would receive considerable dividends on a regular basis; and
- That he would only take a commission between 5 percent and 15 percent, depending on the value of the underlying value of the investment.
In reality, prosecutors believe that this financial advisor knew that all three of these promises and representations were false. First, the United States Attorney’s Office contends that Mr. Colonna was fully aware of the fact that Liberty International would not be purchasing precious metals with the investors’ money. As a consequence of this knowledge, he knew that there would be no legitimate profits or legitimate investment gains through which to pay the customers the financial dividends that were promised. Finally, prosecutors allege that Mr. Colonna took immediate commissions well above the maximum of 15 percent that was promised to investors. In most cases, his commissions were nearly 40 percent of the value of the initial investment.
Sadly, much of the money was siphoned off by Mr. Colonna and his co-conspirators. Prosecutors stated that Liberty International was only able to return around $3 million of the original $16 million investment back to the investors. For his part, it is believed that Mr. Colonna took in nearly $2.5 million in ill-gotten commissions and fees.
Speak to a Miami Investment Fraud Attorney Today
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami FINRA arbitration lawyers have deep experience protecting the rights and interests of investors. If you were a victim of financial advisor theft, you need a strong legal advocate by your side.
To arrange a strictly confidential review of your case, please do not hesitate to contact our law office today at (305) 372-9700. We represent investors throughout South Florida, including in West Palm Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Miami Beach, and Boca Raton.