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SEC Charges Two Florida Residents as Part of a Massive Ponzi Scheme Case

On February 4th, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges in a massive Ponzi scheme case. The federal agency has charged three companies and three individuals as part of a $1.7 billion investment fraud action. Securities fraud charges were filed against:

  • David Gentile of Clearwater, Florida;
  • Jeffrey Lash of Naples, Florida; and
  • Jeffrey Schneider of West Lake Hills, Texas.

The three investment companies that are named in the complaint are as follows: GPB Capital Holdings, LLC, Ascendant Capital, LLC, and Ascendant Alternatives Strategies, LLC. Below, our Miami, FL based investment fraud lawyers provide a more detailed overview of the charges.

SEC Complaint: GPB Capital Ponzi Scheme

The SEC’s legal complaint was filed in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of New York. In the complaint, the federal agency accuses GPB Capital Holdings, LLC of defrauding investors by running a Ponzi-like scheme. Since the broker-dealer’s founding in 2013, GPB Capital has taken more than $1.7 billion from nearly 17,000 retail investors across the United States, including in South Florida. Here are three key things to know about the SEC’s complaint:

  1. Redemptions Were Suspended in 2018: In the middle of 2018, GPB Capital Holdings, LLC  suspended all redemptions and distributions to investors. The broker-dealer suddenly stopped paying out because the assets it held were apparently far below its actual obligations to investors.
  2. Material Misrepresentations are Alleged: The SEC contends that GPB, and its individuals charged in the complaint, made material misrepresentations when raising money from retail investors. Investors were told that they would get an eight percent annual return and that the money being paid was exclusively from gains in its total portfolio. Federal regulators believe that the reality is that money was being shuffled around and old investors were being paid in a “Ponzi-like” fashion.
  3. Investor Money May Still Be At-Risk: The SEC is seeking immediate action from the court. In its legal complaint, the federal agency cautions that it believes that the remaining investor funds are still at risk. With enforcement action the SEC is seeking to recover the maximum amount of financial support and financial relief for affected investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking all warranted legal sanctions and legal remedies. Along with other things, the agency wants equitable relief to prevent any further misconduct by the defendants and disgorgement of any ill-gotten and profits, and payment of civil financial penalties.

Call Our Florida Ponzi Scheme Lawyers for a Confidential Review of Your Case

At ​Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami Ponzi scheme attorneys are dedicated to providing the highest level of representation to investors. If you or someone you know suffered losses in a Ponzi scheme, we are more than ready to protect your rights. Call us now at 305-372-9700 or send us a message directly online to schedule a confidential initial meeting. With an office in Miami, we represent investors in South Florida and beyond.


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