SEC Charges A South Florida Man With Real Estate Investment Fraud
On September 30th, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a litigation release related to the real estate fraud charges against a South Florida man, a French national, and several related investment entities. The agency contends that Paulo Fernando De Bastos (Florida) and Joao Pedro Fonseca (France) raised more than $40 million from hundreds of different investors on fraudulent grounds. Within this blog post, our Miami investment fraud lawyer discusses the securities fraud charges filed by the SEC.
Allegations: Two Men Perpetuated a Real Estate Investment Fraud Scheme
According to a securities fraud complaint filed by the SEC in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Paulo Fernando De Bastos—a real estate agent in Florida—and Joao Pedro Fonseca of France Perpetuated a comprehensive investment fraud scheme. The real estate investment fraud scheme reportedly operated from 2016 to 2020. During that time, approximately $40 million was raised from hundreds of different investors. The investment entities were:
- RBF Trust LLC;
- D3 Gestion Immobiliere LLC; and
- D3 Gestion Immobiliere LLC.
Through these investment entities, more than 900 properties were allegedly sold to investors. The issue is that properties in question were not owned by either Mr. Bastos or Mr. Fonseca. Further, they were not owned by the companies. Instead, the SEC alleges that the scheme involved the sale of interests in investment properties that were owned by other parties. Material misrepresentations were made to investors, who were informed that the investment entities would obtain the tenants and manage the properties.
The SEC is Seeking Sanctions Against Mr. Bastos and Mr. Fonseca
As part of its enforcement action, the SEC is seeking a wide range of sanctions against Paulo Fernando De Bastos, Joao Pedro Fonseca, and the investment entities that they control. More specifically, the SEC is seeking:
- Findings of federal securities law violation;
- An injunction to stop further real estate investment fraud;
- Disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and payment of financial restitution;
- The payment of civil financial penalties; and
- An officer and director bar against both Mr. Bastos and Mr. Fonseca.
Real Estate is Often Used Entice Investors into Fraud Schemes
Real estate has long been one of the most popular investment options. Many people feel more comfortable investing in real estate because it is a hard asset. Unfortunately, there are fraudsters that take advantage of the natural inclinations of many investors by trying to entice people into fraud schemes based on alleged real estate holdings.
Contact Our Miami Real Estate Investment Fraud Attorney for Immediate Help
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami securities fraud lawyer has the professional skills and legal knowledge to help investors take action against real estate fraud. If you or someone close to you sustained losses due to real estate fraud, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team for a fully private case analysis. With an office in Miami, we represent investors in real estate fraud cases in Miami-Dade County, South Florida, and areas beyond.