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SEC Litigation Update: Securities Fraud Charges Filed Against Four Unregistered Brokers Who Sold Sky Securities In Florida

On July 13th, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a litigation update in the case against four unregistered brokers in South Florida who improperly sold securities in Sky Group USA, LLC. Sky Group USA is a payday loan business with a main headquarters in Miami, FL. The individuals charged by the SEC are:

  • Manuel Alvis;
  • Joseph Boulos;
  • Carlos Pingarron; and
  • Carlos Sorondo.

As a collective, they are alleged to have sold more than $25 million of unregistered Sky Group USA securities to more than 300 investors. The total extent of the Sky Group USA fraud may be as high as $66 million. Here, our Miami investment fraud attorney discusses the charges against the four individuals from South Florida.

Sky Group USA CEO Efrain Betancourt, Jr. Was Previously Charged By the SEC

 The alleged securities fraud in this case occurred over a four-year period between 2016 and 2020. The SEC believes that the Miami, FL based company Sky Group USA was used to defraud investors out of approximately $66 million. Venezuelan-American investors were targeted as part of the scheme. In total, more than 500 people put their money into unregistered Sky Group USA Securities.

Unfortunately, Sky Group USA was little more than a Ponzi scheme. The funds raised from new investors were shifted around in order to keep the scheme afloat. In reality, the Miami-based payday loan company has little in the way of legitimate business earnings.

The founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Of Sky Group USA was previously charged. In early July of 2022, Mr. Betancourt, Jr. and his company was ordered to pay $39 million in restitution and disgorgement to affected investors. In addition, former Sky Group USA CEO Efrain Betancourt, Jr. was barred from participating in any penny stock offerings.

 SEC is Pursuing Legal Action Against Unregistered Brokers 

The four unregistered brokers charged by the SEC—Manuel Alvis, Joseph Boulos, Carlos Pingarron, and Carlos Sorondo—are all residents of South Florida. According to the complaint from federal regulators, they aggressively marketed and sold promissory notes in Sky Group USA to investors in South Florida and beyond. The SEC alleges that the four individuals were the top selling agents of the payday loan company. In total, they sold more than $25 million and received millions in commissions for doing so. The SEC is seeking all appropriate sanctions, including:

  • An injunction against further misconduct;
  • Disgorgement of ill-gotten earnings; and
  • Payment of civil financial penalties.

Schedule a Confidential Case Review With Our Unregistered Securities Fraud Lawyer 

At ​Carlson & Associates, P.A., we are devoted to protecting the legal rights and financial interests of investors. If you suffered losses due to the fraud, negligence, or professional misconduct of an unregistered securities broker, we are here to help. Call us now or connect with us directly online for a confidential review of your case. Our firm represents investors in Florida and beyond.


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