Today's Date: May 22, 2022
RNR Tire Express Surprises Tampa-Area Woman with New Car in Mother's Day Giveaway   •   Jeunesse Garners 8 Gold Stevies in 2022 American Business Awards   •   Five Bluum Standouts Honored on CRN 2022 Women of the Channel List   •   Eastern Bank Welcomes New Members To Its Board of Advisors and Board of Ambassadors   •   NCCI Golf Event Generates $25,000 for Kids' Chance of America Scholarships   •   Merz Aesthetics Partners With North Carolina Courage of the National Women's Soccer League to Fuel Confidence on and off the fie   •   Mrs. Flowers Takes the Helm at Comfort Home Care, Rockville, MD   •   Four recipients of the 2022 Awards of Excellence in Nursing announced from Indigenous Services Canada   •   Albertsons Companies, in cooperation with Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp., voluntarily recalls select ReadyMeals and deli-prepar   •   TherapeuticsMD Receives U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approval for Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for ANNOVE   •   Igloo Releases New Playmate Coolers Inspired by Legendary Rapper The Notorious B.I.G.   •   Sallie Mae’s Latest Corporate Social Responsibility Report Highlights Commitment to Customers, Communities, Employees, an   •   Belgard Canada Celebrates Canada Day With a Backyard Giveaway   •   Tracey Hayes from MicroAge Named on CRN's 2022 Women of the Channel Power 70 Solution Providers List   •   Global Surrogacy Services Announces Outreach to Potential Gestational Surrogates in Three Southwestern States   •   Equitable Bank Releases Inaugural ESG Performance Report   •   Steve and Marjorie Harvey Establish the Legacy Ranch in Upson County, Georgia - Building on The Rock Ranch founded by the Cathy   •   Checkmarx' Ana Lucia Amaral Honored as a CRN 2022 Woman of the Channel   •   Tia Extends “Whole Woman, Whole Life” Care Model With Fertility Services   •   Closing the Health Disparity Gap for Black Women
Bookmark and Share

Charges Filed In Case Targeting Haitian Americans

 WASHINGTON - United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida has announced that Maxo Francois, a/k/a Max Francois, Jean Fritz Montinard, Aiby Pierre-Louis and Maguy Nerus, a/k/a Maguy Jean-Louis, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1349 and 1956(h). The criminal charges are for their roles in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme which targeted the South Florida Haitian-American Community. According to the Indictment, Focus Development Center, Inc. and Focus Financial Group, Inc. a/k/a Focus Financial Associates (collectively "Focus Financial") issued and sold 12-month promissory notes to investors providing for a guaranteed 15% annual return. The defendants induced investors to purchase these notes by making presentations in community churches and on the radio, falsely claiming that Focus Financial used the funds to create Haitian-American businesses and jobs, that the businesses generated sufficient profits to pay 15% annual returns, and that investors' principal was safe and secure. In reality, Focus Financial and its affiliated businesses never generated sufficient profits to pay annual returns and, instead, the defendants used new investor funds to pay principal and interest payments to earlier investors. The Indictment further charges that as a result of the scheme, the defendants raised $8 million from more than 600 Haitian-American investors living in South Florida who ultimately suffered losses of approximately $6 million.

On June 9, 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil injunctive action against Focus Financial and its principals, Francois, Montinard and Pierre-Louis, charging them with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC subsequently obtained judgments against each of the defendants, providing for full permanent injunctive relief, holding each of the defendants jointly and severally liable for disgorgement in the amount of $5.9 million, plus prejudgment interest thereon, and ordering them to pay civil penalties in the amount of $120,000 each.

On September 29, 2005, the SEC's Miami Regional Office and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation held an investor education and outreach program in North Miami, Florida, in English and with Creole translators, to provide information to Focus Financial victims and provide information to the Haitian-American community about avoiding financial scams.

Back to top
| Back to home page

White House Live Stream
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Sounds Make the News ®
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News