In a recent enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against MFB 111 Investment, LLC and its principal, Monise François Bien Aimé, contending that they raised around $1.8 million from approximately 170 investors via an offering of unregistered securities, which specifically targeted those in the South Florida Haitian community.
In its complaint, the SEC alleged that from the time period of 2021 to 2022, MFB and François solicited investment contracts touting returns of up to 10% on a weekly basis and subsequently on a monthly basis. The SEC further alleged in its civil complaint that MFB and François marketed the fraudulent scheme by using Facebook videos, as well as through word-of-mouth within the Haitian community in Southern Florida.
MFB and François represented to investors that the investment was safe and that their investment capital would be utilized to, among things, buy real estate for short-term Airbnb rentals, invest in mutual funds, and to buy merchandise for a clothing store owned by Francois, per the SEC’s complaint. In truth, the SEC contends, while MFB and François did make certain investments, they also misused at least $186,000 of investor capital, and made Ponzi-like distributions to investors with other investor funds, with the end result that most investors were not repaid as represented.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the SEC’s complaint charged MFB and François with violations of the registration provisions of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act), and the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC is also seeking, as is the norm, injunctive relief, civil penalties, the return of ill-gotten gains, also known as disgorgement, and prejudgment interest.
The SEC complaint also names Julien Janvier as a relief defendant, which is a defendant who is not alleged to have violated the federal securities laws, but who is, according to the SEC, in possession of investor proceeds with no legitimate claim to them.
Affinity Ponzi Scheme Defense Lawyer
David Chase, Esq. a former SEC prosecutor, of the Law Firm of David R. Chase, a SEC defense law firm, is now an SEC defense lawyer and represents individuals in SEC investigations nationwide. You may contact him toll-free at: 800-760-0912 or e-mail at: email@example.com, and can visit the Firm’s website for more information and content at: www.davidchaselaw.com.