SEC Charges Florida Firm and Executive with Operating an Affinity Fraud Targeting the Haitian-American Community
Litigation Release No. 24970 / November 30, 2020
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Brothers Investment Group International, Inc. N/K/A Brothers International Group Inc., et al., 20-cv-24842 (S.D. Fla. filed Nov. 24, 2020)
On November 24, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Brothers Investment Group International, Inc. and its chief executive officer and president, Anson Jean-Pierre, for defrauding investors through an offering of securities targeting Haitian-American investors in the Miami, Florida area.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in Miami, Florida, alleges that, between August 2017 and November 2018, the defendants raised approximately $794,000 from over 200 mainly Haitian-American investors through sales of securities in the form of "membership interests." According to the SEC's complaint, the defendants misrepresented to investors that their money would be used to fund the development of various agricultural, real estate, energy, and banking projects, primarily in Haiti. As alleged in the complaint, however, that defendants only invested a portion of the investor funds in the projects while Jean-Pierre misappropriated about $284,000, or roughly 37%, of the investment proceeds and used the funds for an elaborate gala event, retail purchases, restaurants, travel and hotel charges, cash withdrawals, and payments to himself.
The SEC's complaint alleges that the defendants violated the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement and prejudgment interest, and civil penalties against the defendants.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Brian Theophilus James and Timothy J. Galdencio in the Miami Regional Office, and supervised by Chedly C. Dumornay. The litigation will be led by Stephanie N. Moot.