Alexandra Robert, Chalala Academy LLC

SEC Charges Florida Resident with Operating a Ponzi Scheme That Targeted Haitian-American Community

Litigation Release No. 25452 / July 27, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Alexandra Robert, Chalala Academy LLC, No. 9:22-cv-81092 (S.D. Fla. filed July 26, 2022)

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday charged Palm Beach County resident Alexandra Robert and two companies under her ownership and control, alleging that they fraudulently raised approximately $900,000 from 80 investors through an unregistered securities offering, including to members of the Haitian-American community in South Florida.

The SEC's complaint alleges that, from at least 2020 to 2021, Robert, through Chalala Academy LLC and Lendvesting Academy Corp, two companies she owned and controlled, offered investment programs to investors and promised "risk-free" returns of 10% to 48%. As alleged, Robert and the two companies made statements on the company's website and via social media claiming they raised more than $4 million from more than 1,000 investors, paid out $2.6 million in profits to investors, and were going to pay "guaranteed" investment returns from underwriting loans to small businesses. In fact, the SEC alleges, Robert, who is of Haitian descent, and her two companies, raised only approximately $900,000 from 80 investors, including many members of the Haitian-American community. As alleged in the complaint, instead of executing an investment strategy designed to generate the promised returns, Robert misappropriated investor funds and used investor funds to make Ponzi-like distributions to investors.

The SEC's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charges Robert, Chalala, and Lendvesting with violating the registration provisions of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933. The complaint also charges the defendants with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, civil penalties against each of the defendants and an officer-and-director bar against Robert.

The SEC's investigation was part of the Miami Regional Office's Fraud Against Minority Groups Initiative and was conducted by Sean M. O'Neill and Crystal C. Ivory in the Miami Regional Office and supervised by Jason R. Berkowitz, Fernando Torres, and Glenn S. Gordon, and with the assistance of Nadirah Phillip, Ryan Michienzi, George Francheschini, Nicholas A. Monaco and John C. Mattimore. The SEC's litigation will be led by Alice Sum and Mr. O'Neill, and supervised by Teresa J. Verges.

Last Reviewed or Updated: May 31, 2023