Three Men Arrested for Conspiracy – Investors Looking for Money
Three men were arrested this May in Miami for conspiracy to commit wire fraud as a result of a recent investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.
The court documents read like a classic case of flamboyant salesmen who set their sights on conning investors out of their money. The complaint stated that starting in 2009, Antonino Castro, Betsy Aguilar Molina, and Anibangel Molina made false representations to investors, failed to pay dividends, and allocated money for their personal expenses. At the same time they were representing to investors that they were purchasing commodities, and offering trading opportunities in precious metals, oil and foreign currency.
The three ran their scheme through their company Bancard Financial Services, through which they also offered high interest checking accounts to their clients. To make themselves seem more legitimate Bancard Financial Services presented customers and investors a fraudulent bond certificate that was supposed to be issued by Lloyds of London. Investors were led to believe that Lloyds indemnified Bancard Financial Services LLC against losses for any one client for up to $2.2 million. Even more bizarrely Aguilar Molina, who acted as the companies Operation Manager, told at least one client that U.S. President Barack Obama had signed a law which guaranteed their investments. Wow!
The scheme has a definite Hollywood flair to it being that none of the three individuals, nor their company, are registered or licensed to trade in commodities, securities, or currency. Nor are they registered to act as a broker for any of these items. Instead the trio lured investors in by television advertisements offering classes in foreign exchange currency trading in Miami. Once the bait had been taken, people who attended these seminars were then given the opportunity to have Bancard Financial Services invest their money in foreign currency markets, commodities, or in high interest paying checking accounts. Once the money was invested, the trio went about spending the money on their personal purchases which included a 2012 Land Rover Evoque, purchased by Aguilar Molina for Anibangel Molina.
The scammers were very successful, raising around $4 million in investments from more than 50 individual investors between November 2011 and November 2012. Since then numerous investors have contacted Castro, who functioned as the Office Manager, and Molina, the company’s President, requesting that their accounts be closed and their monies returned. Till date no money has been returned.
This dubious trio face up to 20 years in prison, if they are convicted of the allegations. Investors should always double check the credentials of people who are seeking large sums of money. Investing with people who are registered, have certifications, and a track record of delivering are far more likely to be the real deal than underhanded con artists who rely heavily on peoples naivety and using a classic bait and switch. Once the “seminars” turned to a session on giving these folks money, serious questions should have been asked about their qualifications and their motives. A little research could have saved a lot of people the hassle and heartache of trying to get their money back from con men.