Achieve: Notification to Victims

United States v. Kristine Louise Johnson

United States v. Kristine Louise Johnson

Troy Barnes and Kristine Johnson operated a fraudulent Pyramid/Ponzi scheme through Work With Troy Barnes, Inc. (WWTB), an entity they founded and which did business as “The Achieve Community” (TAC).  Between April 2014 and February 2015 TAC generated more than $6.8 million.  Through online video blogs and written promotional materials on the website, both Barnes and Johnson enticed victim-investors to buy “positions” in TAC and earn extraordinary investment returns of 700 percent.  More than 10,000 people invested.  Barnes and Johnson repeatedly assured listeners who bought $50 “positions” that they would “cycle” through the matrix and receive $400 in return for each $50 position.  There was no requirement that investors do anything.  Success depended entirely on sufficient new investors to “retire” early investors positions. The scheme ended when the SEC executed a temporary restraining order (TRO) on February 13, 2015. When it was forced to cease operations due to the TRO, TAC had $2.6 million on deposit but owed more than $50 million to investors.

The defendant, Kristine Johnson, pled guilty on June 30, 2015 and was released on bail. The case is in the presentence stage of the criminal justice process. The United States Probation Office has been assigned to complete a presentence report.

NOTICE PROVIDED TO VICTIMS BY THE U.S. PROBATION OFFICE, WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA

The Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 provides that all identified victims directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of the offense in the above-entitled case receive notice of the following information:

The above-named defendant was convicted of Attempt and Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349.  You will be notified by the U.S. Attorney’s Office when a sentencing date has been set.  According to the United States, you are a victim of this offense and may be entitled to restitution; however, our office cannot guarantee that restitution, or any particular amount of restitution will be awarded to you at sentencing.  This determination will be made by the Court.

A Sr. U.S. Probation Officer/Guideline Specialist will be preparing a Presentence Report for the U.S. District Court in Charlotte, NC.  This report will include information regarding Victims and Victim Losses.  You are asked to submit information concerning the amount of your losses to the U.S. Probation Office by clicking on one of the following links: http://www.ncwp.uscourts.gov/victim-response-information or http://www.ncwp.uscourts.gov/content/kristine-johnson. Here you will find a Victim Impact packet (with the defendant’s name, Kristine Johnson) under the tab “Victim Response” which contains a complete explanation of the type(s) of compensation you may be entitled to receive.  All claims must be accompanied by supporting documentation.  If you wish to have such information considered in the preparation of the Presentence Report, please submit the Victim Impact packet and any documentation no later than August 21, 2015.

 

Updated July 29, 2015

DFRF: Criminal Case Moved to Massachusetts, Added to Existing Case

dfrf-enterprises-logoJuly 28th saw an entry of a Warrant of Removal in the Southern District of Florida, where Daniel Fernandez Rojo Filho was arrested earlier in the month. According to the filing, Filho waived any further hearings prior to the move to Massachusetts. The second page contains this:

And having not posted the bail as set by the Court, the defendant is hereby committed to the custody of the United States Marshal for removal to the District where the charge is pending and delivery to the United States Marshal for that District or his lawfully authorized representative.

DONE AND ORDERED at West Palm Beach, Florida this 28th day of July, 2015.

I cannot find anything that states the amount of bail within the court documents, but it was briefly mentioned above. The current case in Massachusetts is 15-mj-7163.

WCM777: Receiver’s Fifth Interim Report

The WCM777 receiver has filed the 5th Interim Report, which details the huge amounts of money the wcm777-logoalleged defendants spent buying 2 golf courses, 8 homes/properties, and over $17 million transferred to over 20 third parties. All relative documents are available at the website below.

Here’s the Receiver’s website:  http://www.worldcapitalmarketreceivership.com/

 

 

eAdGear: Wang and Yuen Plead Guilty in Criminal Case

14304844ff93de3bc1030708rFollowing the filing of a Superseding Information document, and sealed Plea Agreements, we have this:

On May 27, 2015, defendant Charles Wang, pled guilty to Counts One and Two of the captioned Superseding Information, and agreed to pay a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $731,405.33 (“Forfeiture Money Judgment”). The defendant admitted that the Forfeiture Money Judgment represents the funds that were involved in the structuring violations and, thus, is forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 5317(c) and the procedures outlined in Rule 32.2 of the Federal Rules and Criminal Procedures. The defendant further agreed that the court enter a personal money judgment in the amount of $731,405.33.

On May 27, 2015, defendant Francis Yuen, pled guilty to Counts One and Two of the captioned Superseding Information, and agreed to pay a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $731,405.33 (“Forfeiture Money Judgment”). The defendant admitted that the Forfeiture Money Judgment represents the funds that were involved in the structuring violations and, thus, is forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 5317(c) and the procedures outlined in Rule 32.2 of the Federal Rules and Criminal Procedures. The defendant further agreed that the court enter a personal money judgment in the amount of $731,405.33.

Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho Arrested!!

U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION       dfrf-enterprises-logo

Litigation Release No. 23310 / July 23, 2015

Securities and Exchange Commission v. DFRF Enterprises LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 1:15 cv 12857-PBS (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)

United States v. Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho, Criminal Action No. 1:15-mj-07163-JCB (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)

Authorities Arrest Fugitive Operator of Pyramid/Ponzi Scheme Based in Massachusetts and Florida

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that, on July 21, 2015, federal authorities arrested Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho of Orlando, Florida, after he was criminally charged with defrauding investors. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts charged Filho on June 30, 2015, with wire fraud in connection with an investment fraud he operated under the name DFRF Enterprises. Filho was arrested in Florida after evading arrest for more than two weeks.

The criminal charges against Filho relate to the same conduct charged in a civil enforcement action filed by the SEC on June 30, 2015, against Filho, DFRF Enterprises, and others. Those charges were filed under seal, in connection with the Commission’s request for an immediate asset freeze. That asset freeze, which the federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, ordered on June 30, secured approximately two million dollars of funds and prevented the potential further dissipation of investor assets. After the SEC staff implemented the asset freeze, at the SEC’s request the Court lifted the seal on July 2, 2015. On July 13, 2015, the Court extended the asset freeze as to all defendants [Filho; two DFRF Enterprises companies based in Massachusetts and Florida; Wanderley M. Dalman of Revere, Massachusetts; Gaspar C. Jesus of Malden, Massachusetts; Eduardo N. Da Silva of Orlando, Florida; Heriberto C. Perez Valdes of Miami, Florida; Jeffrey A. Feldman of Boca Raton, Florida; and Romildo Da Cunha of Brazil]. A hearing on the SEC’s motion for preliminary injunction is scheduled for July 28, 2015 in the federal court in Boston.

The SEC alleges that DFRF Enterprises, named for its founder Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho, claimed to operate more than 50 gold mines in Brazil and Africa, but the company’s revenues came solely from selling membership interests to investors and not from mining gold. According to the SEC’s complaint, with the help of several promoters, DFRF lured investors with such false promises as their money would be fully insured, DFRF has a line of credit with a Swiss private bank, and one-quarter of DFRF’s profits are used for charitable work in Africa. The SEC alleges that the scheme raised more than $15 million from at least 1,400 investors by recruiting new members in pyramid scheme fashion to keep the fraud afloat, and commissions were paid to earlier investors in Ponzi-like fashion for their recruitment efforts. The SEC further alleges that Filho has withdrawn more than $6 million of investor funds to buy a fleet of luxury cars, among other personal expenses.

The SEC alleges that Filho and others began selling “memberships” in DFRF during 2014 through meetings with prospective investors primarily in Massachusetts hotel conference rooms, private homes, and businesses. According to the SEC’s complaint, DFRF promoted the investment opportunity through online videos in which Filho falsely claimed that the company had registered with the SEC and its stock would be publicly traded. As DFRF’s marketing reach widened, membership sales dramatically increased from under $100,000 in June 2014 to more than $4 million in March 2015 alone.

For further information, see Litigation Release No. 23296 (July 2, 2015).

 

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2015/lr23310.htm

AT&T, Really?? Fix What You Already Have…….

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Justice Department Will Not Challenge AT&T’s Acquisition of DirecTV

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it will close its investigation into AT&T’s proposed $48 billion acquisition of DirecTV.

This announcement follows a statement by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that a final order approving the transaction has been circulated to the Commission.

“After an extensive investigation, we concluded that the combination of AT&T’s land-based internet and video business with DirecTV’s satellite-based video business does not pose a significant risk to competition,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Antitrust Division.  “Our investigation benefitted from the Division’s close and constructive working relationship with the FCC.  The commitments that the proposed FCC order includes, if adopted, will provide significant benefits to millions of subscribers.”

15-915
Antitrust (including FTC antitrust)
Updated July 21, 2015

Sann Rodrigues: Attorney Seeks Removal From Visa Fraud Case

MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL AND APPOINT COUNSEL
______________________________________________________________________________
NOW COMES the undersigned counsel, Joseph F. Hennessey, counsel for the Defendant in this matter hereby request this Honorable Court to allow the undersigned to withdrawal as counsel of record for Defendant and appoint counsel.

As reason for this request counsel states that there has been a complete breakdown of communication between counsel and the defendant. The defendant is facing Visa Fraud. Counsel for the Defendant further states that it is in the best interest of the defendant that new counsel be appointed to represent him in this matter as he has been held for approximately 60 days and all assets have been seized by the Security Exchange Commission.


In a supporting document the attorney states:

7. On July 7, 2015 I met with the Defendant at Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, Rhode Island to discuss the termination. The Defendant stated that he preferred a new counsel, that he was not happy with my representation, and that he could no longer pay for counsel unless released.
8. All assets of the Defendant have been seized by the Security Exchange Commission.
9. There has been a breakdown of communication between counsel and the defendant that has made it impossible for counsel to properly represent the defendant.
10. It is in the best interest of the defendant that new counsel be appointed to represent him.

Sann Rodrigues Tied to DFRF Ponzi Scheme

This comes from the SEC Complaint regarding DFRF Enterprises, indicating Sann Rodrigues is neck deep in very many schemes: (emphasis added)

81. In addition, Filho has caused DFRF to pay more than $310,000 for the benefit of Sanderley Rodrigues de Vasconcelos (“Rodrigues”). Rodrigues is the subject of a 2007 consent judgment in a Commission enforcement action concerning the “Universo Foneclub” pyramid scheme, and he is a defendant in the Commission’s pending enforcement action concerning the “TelexFree” pyramid scheme. On March 21, 2015, Filho caused DFRF to pay $50,000 to a business belonging to Rodrigues. (The payment was made less than one month after Filho publicly denied any link between DFRF and TelexFree.) On March 30, 2015, Filho caused DFRF to pay $100,000 to the same business. On April 2, 2015, Filho caused DFRF to supply more than $160,000 so that another business belonging to Rodrigues could purchase a 2008 Lamborghini sports car. There is no evidence that Rodrigues provided any services or other benefit to DFRF.

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