Litigation Release No. 25707 / May 4, 2023

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Cedric Dewayne Griffin, No. 3:23-cv-00539 (M.D. Fla. filed May 4, 2023)

SEC Charges Florida Resident with Operating $5.9 Million Ponzi Scheme Targeting African-American Community

The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed charges against Cedric Dewayne Griffin alleging that he raised approximately $5.9 million from at least 103 investors through a fraudulent securities offering targeting members of the African-American community in Jacksonville, Florida and elsewhere.

The SEC's complaint alleges that from at least January 2020 to December 2021, Griffin lured individuals into investing in promissory notes issued by two of his companies, G8 Equity LLC and G8 RE Capital LLC, promising investors high monthly returns ranging from 10% to 33%. As alleged, Griffin represented to investors that he would use their money to purchase, rehabilitate, and resell real estate for a profit, and provide investors monthly returns from those profits. According to the SEC's complaint, Griffin did not, in fact, purchase any real estate and, instead, misappropriated investor funds and used investor funds to pay other investors their purported investment returns in Ponzi-like fashion.

The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, charges Griffin 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 ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and an officer-and-director bar against Griffin.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Christine Hernandez and Mark Dee, and supervised by Eric Busto, Fernando Torres, and Glenn Gordon in the Miami Regional Office. The SEC's litigation is being led by Amie Riggle Berlin and supervised by Teresa Verges. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Office of the State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, U.S. Secret Service Jacksonville Field Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation Jacksonville Field Office.