A former Brighton resident and his son have been convicted of using free lunch seminars and false promises to defraud investors in a $50 million real estate investment fraud scheme.
According to the evidence presented at trial, John Bravata and Antonio Bravata fraudulently obtained more than $50 million in investments in their company, “BBC Equities,” through the use of false statements and misrepresentation. Specifically, they falsely promised investors that their principal investments would be guaranteed against loss and that they would receive high interest returns.
The Bravatasalso used free lunch seminars to scam new investments from retirees. In addition to falsely promising high returns and guaranteed principal, the Bravatas falsely stated that they would not get paid unless BBC Equities made a profit and that they wouldn’t charge any fees or take any commissions on the investments.
Investors in the company believed their funds were going toward safe real estate investments. Instead, the Bravatas stole a large portion of the investors’ money and used it to support their lavish lifestyles.
More than 500 investors lost approximately $50 million in the scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan said. For many, the losses represented their life savings.
John Bravata was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and 15 counts of wire fraud. Antonio Bravata was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Each count carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The Bravatas will be sentenced on June 18. For additional information on the Bravata real estate investment fraud case, click here.