Steven Pagartanis, formerly a financial advisor with Lombard Securities, Cadaret Grant, and others, has been indicted on nine counts of investment fraud that span more than 18 years. Pargartanis was charged with orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that included securities fraud, wire, and mail fraud conspiracies, and money laundering. According to the indictment, Pagartanis allegedly defrauded more than 12 elderly female investors, taking over $8 million in profits that were spent on luxury purchases, travel, and personal expenses.
Allegedly, at least 17 of Pagartanis's clients collectively invested more than $13 million in made up real estate investment opportunities. According to Pagartanis, money was to be invested in a publicly-traded company in Calgary, Canada called Genesis Land Development. After instructing clients to make checks payable to “Genesis,” Pagartanis allegedly deposited the checks into Genesis I Holdings, a shell company set up and controlled by Pagartanis, then transferred the money to his personal bank account.
He allegedly used around $1.8 million to make monthly interest payments back to investors in a Ponzi scheme. According to SEC complaints, investors were enticed by a high fixed rate return of up to 8 percent on their real estate investments. Federal prosecutors claim Pagartanis created false account statements to show clients they held ownership interests in investments as a way to conceal his fraudulent investment scheme. Pagartanis was arrested in June. If convicted he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The SEC warns that elderly investors are commonly targeted in various types of investment fraud schemes. Many lose their life savings, retirement accounts, and homes and property. Recently, the SEC proposed a bill that would establish a Senior Investor Task Force designed to protect senior investors over age 65. The task force must report on topics related to senior investors, including industry trends and potential investment problems, and make recommendations for regulatory or legislative actions to address problems encountered by senior investors.
Contact Meyer Wilson today to discuss your legal options with an experienced investment fraud attorney. We have worked with thousands of people targeted by fraud and scams over the years, and through our efforts have secured more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements. Call us at (614) 532-4576 to discuss your case or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.