Biscayne Capital Principals Charged with $155 Million Biscayne Capital Investment Fraud Scheme
Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2021 at 9:42 pm
In September 2021, Ernesto Heraclito Weisson Pazmino of Miami, Florida, Roberto Gustavo Cortes Ripalda of Madrid, Spain, and Fernando Haberer Bergson of Buenos Aires, Argentina were criminally indicted and charged with conspiring to defraud investors and financial institutions. Pazmino was arrested in Miami, Florida in connection with the alleged $155 million investment fraud scheme that spanned the United States, South America, and Europe.
The charges included: conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the announcement by the Department of Justice, in 2005, Cortes and Weisson founded Biscayne Capital, a financial services company. “Between approximately 2013 and 2018, Cortes, Haberer, and Weisson, together with others, orchestrated a scheme to defraud Biscayne Capital clients and financial institutions through a series of material misrepresentations and omissions about, among other things, how Biscayne Capital client funds would be used. The defendants and their co-conspirators used the funds they fraudulently obtained from clients and financial institutions to pay other investors, cover Biscayne Capital expenses, and pay themselves millions of dollars.”
The defendants and their co-conspirators allegedly “falsely told some Biscayne Capital clients that the clients’ investments in certain private investment products (referred to in the indictment as “Proprietary Products”) would be used to finance the development of real estate projects, when in fact, the defendants and their co-conspirators used the clients’ investments to pay other Biscayne Capital clients. The indictment also alleges the defendants and their co-conspirators invested certain clients’ money in Proprietary Products without those clients’ knowledge, and then provided those clients with fraudulent account statements that showed fake investments. The defendants and others also conspired to fraudulently induce financial institutions to extend short-term credit to help further the scheme. Haberer then generated fake letters of authorization to repay the banks out of Biscayne Capital clients’ accounts without those clients’ authorization…
“By September 2018, the alleged scheme collapsed, and Biscayne Capital went into liquidation, causing more than $155 million in losses to Biscayne Capital clients.
Weisson had an initial court appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Chris M. McAliley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. If convicted of all counts, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 70 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Biscayne Capital may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by its customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If you have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.