SEC Charges Convicted Investment Fraud Artist in Real Estate Ponzi Scheme
On June 23rd, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced securities fraud charges against Wilson Baston—a man previously convicted of investment fraud—for his role in an alleged real estate Ponzi scheme. A number of different investors were affected, including investors in Florida. In this article, our Miami Ponzi scheme attorney discusses the charges filed by federal securities regulations.
Securities Fraud Charges: Wilson Baston
In an investment fraud complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Wilson Baston allegedly perpetrated a real estate Ponzi scheme. Notably, Mr. Baston already has a conviction for a similar offense on his record dating back to 2008. Mr. Baston allegedly used several aliases to deceive investors into investing millions of dollars into a company called the Gordon Management Group LLC. The investment was purportedly for real estate transactions. Short-term promissory notes were issued to investors and they were promised high returns—totaling more than 25 percent. However, instead of investing in real estate, the SEC alleges that he used the funds to pay off earlier investors and siphoned off funds to cover his personal expenses.
The Mechanics of the Real Estate Ponzi Scheme
As part of its securities fraud complaint filed in federal court, the SEC alleges serious violations by Mr. Baston and his company Gordon Management Group LLC. According to the SEC, Mr. Baston has operated the investment entity since at least 2018. He allegedly deceived investors by offering promissory notes promising high returns of up to 25 percent, all within short periods of time. Indeed, he told investors their money would be used for specific real estate transactions, some of which never occurred. Out of $425,000 in investor deposits from November 2018 to February 2022, at least $290,196 (68 percent) was misappropriated through Ponzi-like repayments and unrelated expenditures. Mr. Baston would also sometimes fulfill initial repayments using other investors’ funds to facilitate his deception and encourage larger investments.
The SEC is Seeking a Wide Range of Penalties as Part of the Enforcement Action
The SEC charges Wilson Baston with violations of federal securities law, including the Securities Act of 1933 and Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The agency is seeking a wide range of penalties, including:
- Permanent injunctive relief;
- Disgorgement of any ill-gotten proceeds;
- Payment of prejudgment interest;
- A civil financial penalty; and
- A conduct injunction would bar Mr. Baston from engaging in the selling of any future promissory notes or related types of investment contracts.
Contact Our South Florida Ponzi Scheme Lawyer Today
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Florida investment fraud attorney has the skills and expertise needed to protect the rights of investors in the full range of Ponzi scheme cases, including real estate Ponzi schemes. If you have any questions or concerns about bringing a Ponzi scheme claim as an investor, we are here to help. Contact us today for your strictly confidential consultation. Our firm represents investors in Miami, South Florida, and throughout the wider surrounding region.