New York (HedgeCo.Net) – The SEC charged a woman living in South Florida with defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme and affinity fraud that targeted the local Colombian-American community and involved purported investments in immigration bail bonds.
The SEC alleges that Jenny E. Coplan told investors that her company Immigration General Services operated through an investment broker that would invest the funds she raised in immigration bail bonds and turn a profit. Coplan promised interest payments ranging from 60 to 108 percent annually. She also assured investors that their money was safe because it was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). However, Coplan never placed investor funds with any investment broker, and their money was never FDIC insured. Instead, she paid supposed profits to earlier investors using funds from newer investors in classic Ponzi fashion, and she stole approximately $878,000 of investor money for her own personal use.
“Coplan deliberately misled investors into believing their investments were safe and secure when in reality she was lining her own pockets,” said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office. “Her predatory scheme exploited the trust and friendship of members of her own community by using empty promises to convince them to trust her with their hard-earned savings.”
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced criminal charges against Coplan.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Miami, Coplan solicited investors through personal conversations over the phone and in person, and many of her targets were Colombian-Americans and Colombians living in Florida. She raised approximately $4 million from more than 90 investors in Florida, California, Georgia, Texas, Canada, and Colombia.